The (Lucas) Lovejoy Leopards scored early and often, beating Sulphur Springs in Rockwall on Wednesday, May 19 by a score of 7-0.
The Leopards jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Crimson Bryant, starting pitcher for the Lady Cats, gave up a triple.
Shortly thereafter RF Grace Magnuson dropped a fly ball that allowed Lovejoy to cross home to take the aforementioned 1-0 lead.
While no runs were scored by either team in the second inning, Lovejoy found their groove in the third.
A single by the Leopard lead-off batter in the inning set the tone for the top of the third as three batters later, Hannah Harvey, 2B for Lovejoy, homered to left field to make it a 3-0 lead over Sulphur Springs after 2.5 innings.
The Leopards then proceeded to score 2 runs in the fourth and fifth innings as Lucas Lovejoy rolled past the Lady Cats 7-0 in Game 1 of the Regional Semifinals.
Starting pitcher for the Leopards Jade Owens showed up and showed out for Lovejoy, going 1-2-3 through the Lady Cats line-up from the second through fifth innings.
Sulphur Springs was outhit 8-1 by Lovejoy on Wednesday. The only hit for the Lady Cats came in their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a single by 3B Addison Caddell to thwart the perfect game.
Bryant got the loss, pitching 4 innings and striking out 7 Lovejoy batters, but the righty gave up 5 runs on 5 hits. Only 4 of Bryant’s runs given up were earned due to Lady Cat errors.
Caddell came in as a relief pitcher, pitching 3 innings and allowing 2 runs off of 3 hits. Only one of those 2 runs were earned, though.
Sulphur Springs gave up 4 costly errors, 2 of which allowed Lovejoy to score.
The loss dropped the Lady Cats season record to 28-4 overall (11-1 district).
The loss is the first Coach Carrillo’s Sulphur Springs squad has allowed since Mar. 9 in their district-opening loss at Hallsville.
The 7 runs surrendered to an opponent is also the most the Lady Cats have allowed since their season-opening loss to Rockwall on Feb. 25.
The win in Game 1 on Wednesday gave the Lucas Lovejoy Leopards a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series versus the Lady Cats in the Regional Semifinals.
Coach David Carrillo and his Lady Cats will now be looking to Game 2 on Friday with the hopes of keeping their season alive.
If Sulphur Springs wishes to advance to the Regional Final, they will not only have to win Game 2 on Friday, forcing a Game 3, but will have to emerge victorious in Game 3 on Saturday as well.
Game 2 of the Regional Semifinal is set to tee off at 7 PM on Friday, May 21 back in Rockwall.