PILOT POINT — Behind some solid pitching and aggressive at bats, Pilot Point pounded 14 hits on Wednesday night en route to a 13-3 victory over Whitewright in six innings of Game 1 of a Class 3A Region II bi-district series.
Pilot Point (28-1) will look to close out Whitewright (14-11) in Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. If needed, a third game will be played at Whitewright at 7 p.m. on Saturday
The Lady Bearcats led 1-0 through the first three innings, stranding two baserunners in the process. Pilot Point then drove in 12 runs in the final three innings, beginning with a strong fourth.
The Lady Bearcats’ first four batters in the fourth recorded a base hit, including a two-run double from pitcher Christine Billmeier.
The freshman tossed all six innings, struck out six and recorded her first playoff win.
“She got some great experience, and got her first playoff win,” Pilot Point head coach James Ramsey said. “I’m proud of her, and of course it helps when our bats come alive and we get some timely hits. Hitting is contagious!”
There were six Lady Bearcats — Hannah Sullivan, Billmeier, Brooke Lane, Jordan David, Dani Medina and Shannon Funck — who recorded two or more hits.
In the bottom fifth, Sullivan was walked and Lane moved her to third with a single. David responded with a two-run double, followed by a two-run single from Medina.
Whitewright responded to Pilot Point’s three runs with a three-run home run over the right field fence from third baseman Sage Harlow.
Ahead 8-3 in the bottom sixth, Pilot Point didn’t let Whitewright’s offensive momentum carry over to the final inning.
The Lady Bearcats continued to hit with five runs on four hits, capped by an RBI single from Funck to give them the run-rule victory.
Whitewright is capable of keeping the Lady Bearcats close, as evidenced in the first three innings, but Ramsey knows far too well to not underestimate an opponent.
“I’ve been doing this too long,” Ramsey said. “When we start Game 2 it’s 0-0. Game 1 is over and we’ve got to focus and not take anything for granted.”
Class 3A Region II Howe 5, S&S 2
GUNTER — Erin Blackburn was 2-for-4, drove in a run and scored as Howe rallied past S&S in a Class 3A Region II bi-district match-up on Wednesday.
Howe (17-7) will face either Sunnyvale or Edgewood in the area round next week.
Jada Muller singled and scored and Taylor Blanscett drove in a run for S&S (12-11), which scored both its runs in the first inning.
But Torrey Stubblefield didn’t allow much the rest of the way. She gave up just one earned run on three hits with two walks and struck out nine.
Kayla Anderson was 2-for-4 with two doubles and drove in a run, Madisyn Hargrove singled and drove in two runs and Payton Griffin singled, walked twice and scored for Howe, which took a 3-2 lead in the fifth and tacked on two more runs in the seventh.