It took an extra inning, but the Lady Cats softball team capitalized when they needed to most, winning against the Huntsville Lady Hornets in 8 innings, 1-0 on Wednesday, May 12.
The two teams starting pitchers started out on a tear.
Both teams struggled to make contact early in the game.
When either side did get a runner on base, and at times two runners on base, each time those same runners were left stranded after neither team could capitalize by getting runners home.
After 7 full innings, both teams had 3 hits a piece, but neither team could manage to get a runner home to take the lead.
Sulphur Springs looked as though they could have walked it off in the bottom of the seventh, because with only 1 out, the Lady Cats had the bases loaded.
With the game threatening to go to extra innings, it looked as though this might be the best chance for Coach David Carrillo’s squad to get the win in Game 1 of the Regional Quarterfinal.
But it would not be so, as the two following Lady Cats batters were called out to end the inning and send the game to extra innings.
The top of the eighth was a tense one for the traveling Sulphur Springs fans, as the story was flipped.
Huntsville looked to be knocking on victory’s doors when with one out, LF for Huntsville Kylie Woods tripled to be only 90 feet away from taking the lead in a deadlocked 0-0 tie.
Unfortunately for the Lady Hornets, 2 of the next 3 Huntsville batters struck out to thwart any chance of the Lady Hornets taking the lead.
Now taking on DP/Relief pitcher JJ Duke, the Lady Cats knew they had to close the game out in the bottom of the eighth if they wished to win in Game 1 of the Regional Quarterfinal.
The second batter of the inning, RF Grace Magnuson, was walked with one out.
The following batter, 3B and clean-up hitter Addison Caddell advanced Magnuson to second with a sac bunt.
So with two outs, and with Magnuson in scoring position at second, it was all up to starting P Crimson Bryant in her fourth at-bat of the evening to determine if the Lady Cats would walk-off with an extra inning victory, or if the game would go to the ninth inning.
Bryant cashed in on her opportunity, doubling on a line drive to center field to get Magnuson home to walk-off the game with a 1-0, extra inning victory over the Huntsville Lady Hornets in Whitehouse.
Both teams fought tooth-and-nail for the victory, but it would be Coach David Carrillo’s Lady Cats who emerged victorious.
Bryant had an incredibly solid outing, pitching the full 8 innings while giving up no earned runs on 4 hits. The dynamite ace walked three batters in the eight inning game, but did manage to strike out 18 Lady Hornet batters in the victory.
The win over Huntsville gave the Lady Cats a Game 1 victory in the best-of-three series. The win increased Coach Carrillo’s squad’s season record to 27-3 overall (11-1 district).
With the game 1 victory over the Lady Hornets, Sulphur Springs will now be looking at Game 2 with the hopes of closing out the series.
Next up, the Lady Cats will be in Rusk, TX on Friday, May 14 for Game 2 of the Regional Quarterfinal series. That game is set to tee off on Friday at 6:30 PM.