Lady Cats get warmed up with 10-1 victory

SSHS pounds out 15 hits against Lindale to break tie for second place

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

March 30, 2008 - LINDALE - It's supposed to be harder to hit a softball well when the weather is colder. Imagine how the Lady Cats would have done had it been warm on Friday.

As it was, Sulphur Springs banged out 15 hits, including five for extra bases, in a 10-1 victory over the Lindale Lady Eagles despite a chilly evening.

The Lady Cats scored in each of the first four innings while pitchers Kaci Kennedy and Marci Womack wove a five-hitter. The victory broke a second-place tie the Lady Cats shared with Lindale. SSHS is now 4-1 in District 11-4A, 17-7 overall, while Lindale dropped to 3-2.

Junior Krista McMahan drove in three runs with three hits including two doubles, classmate Brittani Crawford had two hits and three RBI, and Katie Dodd clouted a home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning.

"It's amazing what they have been able to do this year," said SSHS head coach David Carrillo. "Everybody is picking each other up. I feel real good about us offensively.

"We were able to hit the ball really well off two good pitchers. It kind of snowballed on them. As the old saying goes, we saw beach balls tonight."

The beach party started in the first inning when Kelsey Evans walked and Maurie Lewis singled. They each scored when Crawford lined a double down the left field line.

The Lady Cats added another run in the second as Amanda McGowin, who had two hits and two RBI, drove a double off the left field wall. Singles by Kara Tomlinson and JaMonica Hall loaded the bases. Then, with one out, Evans singled to right to score McGowin, but Tomlinson was thrown out trying to score and Evans was tagged out heading to second to complete an unusual 9-4-2-6 double play.

Still, the Lady Cats had a 3-0 lead, and they didn't let up. They poured on three more runs in both the third and fourth innings.

In the third, Dodd singled and Crawford reached on an error. McMahan slashed a two-run double to the right field gap, and McGowin drove her in with a single. In the fourth, Lewis started the rally with a one-out single and Dodd followed with a single to left. Crawford then lined a single up the middle for one RBI and McMahan's double scored another run. McGowin capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left to give SSHS a 10-0 lead.

It looked like the Lady Cats would register the first 10-run victory in the entire district this season, but Lindale came up with one run in the bottom of the sixth off Womack. It was the first run she has given up in five appearances this season.

Lindale's Ashton Brey tripled to right field, and Brooke Martin drove her in with a single, but Womack then fanned all four of the final batters she saw.

Womack picked up her fourth save by pitching four innings, giving up two hits and striking out six. Kennedy worked the first three innings and struck out one and walked one while allowing three hits.

Martin and Brey, both of whom have signed to play in college, each pitched against the Lady Cats, but neither had much success. Martin took the loss, giving up eight earned runs in six innings.

"It was an awesome win, again," said Carrillo. "We are peaking at the right time. They are doing a great job, and we just need to continue to stay focused and keep doing the little things right because that will pay off for us in the long run."

The Lady Cats now have four of their final five games at home, including the rematch with district-leading North Lamar. Sulphur Springs starts the second half of district play hosting Paris on Tuesday.

"I feel really good about getting to that third season (playoffs), as least the opportunity we have," Carrillo said. "Being at home should help us a lot. This has been the girls' goal since the beginning of the year. We've got to keep on getting better and we'll achieve it."

Junior Varsity

SSHS 8, Lindale 3

Mia Taylor hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Lady Cats some breathing room as they improved their district record to 4-1.

Taylor also had a double and a single. Jalie Eppars and K.K. Smith each had a hit and scored a run, Kara Tomlinson added two hits and two runs, and Ariel Spataro had a single and a double. Spencer Martin hit two doubles and scored once.

Bailee Speaker went the distance in the circle, giving up four hits while striking out eight.

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