Routing Paris: Lady Cats start district off with 9-1 victory

BY JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

March 16, 2008 - PARIS - After splitting their district games against the Paris Lady Cats last season, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats opened up the District 11-4A season with a dominating win over Paris on Friday.

Behind 13 strikeouts and a four-hit pitching performance from junior Kaci Kennedy, SSHS (13-6, 1-0) defeated Paris 9-1.

"They did a great job tonight and I could not ask any more of them," said SSHS head coach David Carrillo. "We had offense, defense and great pitching, and there is nothing more you can ask for.

"You want to be able to get that first district win and I think our girls were intense early in the game. We got the ball rolling and everybody started doing what we planned on doing when we came out here."

SSHS was scheduled to play Mount Vernon at noon today before returning to their district schedule at Texas High at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

"Hopefully we continue to get better and take this game-by-game," the coach said. "We are going to start Taylor Clifton in both games and we just want to see what we can do and continue to gel as a team."

The Lady Cats had four players with multi-hit games as JaMonica Hall went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Amanda McGowin, Katie Dodd and Mac Morgan each went 2-for-4 at the plate. Dodd had a bases-clearing double during a six-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach.

"We were going to be aggressive and that is what I tell our girls," Carrillo said. "They did a great job of continuing to be aggressive as the game went on, and we are going to get after it against every team."

In the second inning, Paris took a 1-0 lead as Leila Calabria reached with one out. Tara Giles then nailed an RBI double to right field scoring Calabria.

The Lady Cats did not let that run affect them as they came back in the top of the third inning with a run of their own as Hall reached with a single and went all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Evans. Morgan then rapped a double to left field to tie the game at 1-1.

In the fifth inning, the Lady Cats sent 10 batters to the plate against Paris starting pitcher Julie Essary, who gave up 13 hits and seven earned runs. She also struck out five Sulphur Springs batters and walked one.

Breanna Mills was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and she advanced to second on a bunt by Hall to put runners on first and second. Evans then forced a walk to load the bases, then Lewis gave SSHS the lead with a single, scoring Mills. On the next at-bat, Dodd cleared the bases with a double to left field before Brittani Crawford drove in Dodd for the 6-1 lead.

McGowin then rounded out the scoring with a single as Crawford came around to score to put the Lady Cats in control of the game.

The Lady Cats then scored two more runs in the top of the seventh on a RBI single by Hall, and Jenna Davis scored as Krista McMahan's reached on an error for the 9-1 finale.

Note: Prior to their game against Paris, the softball team did a balloon release in memory of Krista McMahan's brother, Casey McMahan, who passed away earlier this week.

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