Pitching, defense do the job for Lady Cats until their bats heat up

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 14, 2008 - It took a few innings for the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats to get their bats going against Mabank on Thursday morning. So, in the meantime, their pitching and defense took up the slack.

The Lady Cats opened their inaugural home tournament with a victory on Thursday, scoring five runs in the third inning for a 6-1, time-limit-shortened win.

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Clifton sailed through the first three innings, allowing just one baserunner, a single by Amanda Castle, while fanning four.

That gave the Lady Cats enough time to expand on the 1-0 lead they established in the first inning. Mac Morgan walked with one out in the first, stole second and scored on a wild pitch.

In the third, the Lady Cats batted through the line-up, stringing together six straight hits. Morgan again started the rally with a one-out infield single. Krista McMahan then drove her home with a triple over the center fielder's head. Brittani Crawford and Katie Dodd each rapped RBI singles and Maurie Lewis singled up the middle. Amanda McGowin then drove a 2-2 pitch into right field for a two-run single and a 6-0 SSHS lead.

Mabank pushed across one run in the fourth as Heather Spurgeon singled and scored on Lauri Norwood's sacrifice fly.

The Lady Cats were threatening to break the game open in the bottom of the inning as Jenna Davis walked, Kaci Kennedy singled and Phebe Rutledge walked to load the bases. Crawford and Dodd, who had went 2-for-2, were up next, but the game was called on the time limit.

The Lady Cats ended with seven hits and five walks against Mabank pitcher Brandi Lander.

The Lady Cats (2-0) were scheduled to take on Royse City at 12:30 p.m., then Naaman Forest at 5 p.m. today. All games are at Lady Cat Park. SSHS is scheduled to take on Frisco at 1 p.m. tomorrow, weather permitting.

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