The Lady Wildcat’s outstanding starting pitcher, Heather Norris, got a complete game shutout victory with the help of some excellent defense played by her teammates.
“I was proud of the girls. I thought defensively, that was the best defense they played all year,” Lady Wildcat’s head coach Brian Rush said. “There were a lot of bang-bang plays and our girls never flinched.”Conversely, the Lady Buccaneers did flinch a couple times. They committed defensive errors that let the Lady Wildcats get on base and eventually score runs.
After generating only one hit for one run in the first three innings, the Lady Wildcats produced three of their total seven hits for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
While holding the Lady Buccaneers to only four total hits, one in the last three innings, the Lady Wildcats plated two more runs in the sixth to take the game 6-0.
Norris struck out four and walked three while allowing only four hits in the shutout victory. Lady Buccaneer Ashley Graves picked up the loss, with one strikeout and five walks.
The Lady Buccaneers committed four errors in the game and they all cost them runs. The first error came in the bottom of the second inning.
The speedy Katie Keen was on first after hitting a bloop single over third base. Next up, Katelyn Devers reached on a missed throw to first base. The missed throw rolled to the dugout, but in a cloud of red dust, Keen had already rounded third and went all the way home for the Lady Wildcats first score.
Keen got on base and scored all three times at bat. She reached on another missed throw to first on her next at bat, in the bottom of the fourth inning. Keen then promptly stole second and advanced to third on a single hit by Devers.
Later, with the bases loaded, Clare Grady hit a shot up the middle to centerfield for a 2 RBI double. Then, Peyton Wilson picked up another RBI with a line drive to the Lady Buccaneers third baseman, who bobbled the ball. Wilson’s RBI gave the Lady Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
The Lady Wildcat’s last two runs came in the sixth inning. Norris reached on a dropped pop fly. Next, Grady beat the throw to first on a sac bunt. Norris attempted to take third on Grady’s successful sac bunt, but was picked off. When Grady went for second as Norris was picked off, the third baseman overthrew second allowing Grady to not only take second, but also advance all the way home to score.
After being walked three times, Haley Bearden hit a solo home run in the sixth for the Lady Wildcat’s last score.
“For a young group, they have definitely grown up over this long season and I think that shows,” Rush said. “We took advantage of a couple of errors on their part and Clare’s double broke the game open. I thought that really made a difference.”
With the win, the Lady Wildcats advance to travel and play Wilson Central Wednesday, May 14th.
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