Moving On: Lady Cats sweep Marshall with 15-5 victory

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 27, 2008 - With a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three bi-district series, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats knew the momentum was on their side.

In the end, the Lady Cats won the Class 4A bi-district title with a 15-5 run-rule victory over the Marshall Lady Mavs in Game 2 at Lady Cat Park Friday night.

"I thought we played an excellent series," said SSHS head coach David Carrillo. "The girls played hard offensively as we were able to move the ball against Marshall. Marci (Womack) did awesome in the series and was able to shut them down. When you come into a playoff series, your margin of error has to be zero, and we did an awesome job."

SSHS (23-9) will now advance to play a best-of-three area round series against the Forney Lady Jackrabbits. Game 1 is set for 7 p.m. Friday, with Game 2 scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Game 3 to follow if necessary. All games will be played at Rockwall High School.

At the plate, the Lady Cats once again had a strong game as they pounded out 12 hits off Marshall pitchers Amanda Harmon and Erin Young. Harmon took the loss as she gave up eight runs on eight hits, while Young went three innings, giving up seven runs on five hits with one walk.

SSHS junior Brittani Crawford finished the game 3-for-4 with one run scored and two doubles, while sophomore Mac Morgan went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Senior Kelsey Evans went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored, and junior Katie Dodd went 1-for-3 with one run scored and two RBI.

Defensively, the two teams combined for 11 errors as Marshall had nine miscues in the game. Carrillo said he was not sure what caused all of the defensive mistakes.

"I am not sure what happened defensively," the coach said. "I know that it was sloppy out there for both teams, and I really can't explain it. I am glad that more of them happened to them than they did to us."

The Lady Mavs took their only lead of the series in the top of the first inning off sophomore starter Taylor Clifton, as she allowed two runs on three hits in only 1/3 of an inning.

Kelly Skelton and Morgan Chandler led off the game with back-to-back singles and Rebecca Young sacrificed them over for the first out of the game. Brianna Hill then smacked a bases-clearing double to right field.

Carrillo said with his team down 2-0, he made the switch to Womack to make sure the series would not head back to Marshall today.

"One of the reasons was I had lost the flip and I really did not want to have to go back to Marshall," the coach explained. "It was one of those things were Marci has a little more experience in those situations and she has been able to get out of those types of jams before."

The Lady Cats offense found ways to score runs in every inning as they led 4-2 after the first. During the inning, Dodd had a sacrifice fly that scored Morgan, while Crawford smacked an RBI single to center field. Krista McMahan then drove in Crawford with a single and Kelsey Evans drove in McMahan to put the Lady Cats in control of the game.

SSHS scored three more runs in the second inning as Dodd and Crawford had RBIs scoring Maurie Lewis and Morgan. Crawford then scored on an error by the Marshall third baseman during Amanda McGowin's at-bat. They added another run in the third inning asJaMonica Hall scored on an error by the firstbaseman.

In the top of the fourth inning, Marshall scored a run off Womack as Erin Young smacked a home run to left field for the 8-3 deficit.

The Lady Cats continued their aggressive play in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs on three Marshall errors. With two outs in the inning, McMahan and McGowin scored with bases-loaded walks to Morgan and Hall, while Evans scored on an error by the third baseman.

The Lady Mavs scored two more runs in the top of the fifth as Chandler and Rebecca Young scored for an 11-5 deficit.

The Lady Cats enforced the run-rule with two outs in the fifth inning as Morgan scored on an error by the left fielder.

"Tonight was a total team effort and I thought everybody did their share in the game," Carrillo said. "We made a few mistakes, but it is nothing that is unfixable. We were able to keep our composure throughout and did what we had to do."

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