Paris is first up for Lady Cats as they open district softball schedule

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

March 14, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats have won twice as many games as they've lost in their pre-district schedule. They likely need to do the same over the next 10 games to earn a playoff berth.

The Lady Cats open District 11-4A today when they travel to take on Paris. The JV game will start at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow at 6 p.m.

Sulphur Springs (12-6) went 6-4 last year in district, which put the Lady Cats in a three-way tie for second. However, they lost in the three-team play-in tournament and finished fourth.

Beating Paris - whom they split with last season - would be a welcome way to start the district season.

SSHS head coach David Carrillo isn't concerned with the Lady Cats' opponents. He is focused more on the way his team plays.

"I don't know much about the other teams in district," he said earlier in the week. "We just need to pitch and hit and play defense the best we can. If we do that, I think we can beat anyone we play."

Junior Kaci Kennedy will start in the circle today, having compiled a 6-3 record with a 1.20 ERA. She has struck out 34 and walked 11 in 40 innings. Sophomore Taylor Clifton (6-3, 3.44 ERA) may also pitch.

The Lady Cats have seven full-time players hitting over .300, though they may be without their top slugger, junior Krista McMahan, who is batting .449 with a team-leading 16 RBI and two home runs, but may not play after suffering a death in the family earlier in the week.

Infielders Katie Dodd (.375, seven doubles, 15 RBI), Mac Morgan (.370, six extra-base hits), Brittani Crawford (.327, one home run) and catcher Maurie Lewis (.340, five extra-base hits) will be in the meat of the Lady Cats' order.

As a team, Sulphur Springs is hitting .329 with 37 of their 143 hits going for extra bases. Five different players have hit home runs this year (McMahan, Morgan, Lewis, Crawford and Kelsey Evans).

Notes: The Lady Cats will play Mount Vernon at noon Saturday at Lady Cat Park. The game was an add-on after having several games canceled this year due to weather.

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