Whitesboro pushes its win streak to six
WHITESBORO — When the Lady Bearcats had the first part of their season wrecked by bad weather, which cost them a total of nine contests — either scrimmages or games — there was a question if it would lead to a bumpy beginning.
Outside of a loss in the season-opener, Whitesboro’s start has been a lot of smooth sailing and the Lady Cats pushed their winning streak to six after defeating Farmersville, 4-0, in non-district action.
“Our bats are super-hot right now and our pitching’s doing really well,” Whitesboro head coach Haley Colwell said. “I’m definitely impressed with the girls’ energy and how they’re seeing the ball.”
Karley Wolf threw a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts, Olivia Hildebrand was 2-for-3 and scored, Makayla Adams reached safety twice and drove in a run and Jamie Dickson added a two-run single for Whitesboro (6-1), which enters District 11-3A action on a full-time basis when it hosts Pilot Point on Tuesday night.
During the winning streak the Lady Cats have five shutouts — an 11-4 win over S&S in district opener is the only blip — and Farmersville (3-4) is the only team to lose by fewer than seven runs. In the six-game stretch, Whitesboro has outscored its opponents 73-4.
Farmersville only had five base runners — two singles, a hit by pitch and a pair of walks. And when three of them got into scoring position, Wolf buckled down.
“She’s very poised. She’s competes under pressure really well and gets the job done,” Colwell said. “Karley’s a good leader. It’s nice to have a strong group of seniors and juniors that have been here since Day 1. They are leading the culture of this program.”
In the first, Morgan Erwin was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second before being stranded there.
The third inning was where Wolf wriggled out of her most serious trouble. Baylee Valliant led off with a single through the left side and an error on the play allowed her to go to second. The junior right-hander struck out the next three with the last two coming as Valliant stood on third after a wild pitch.
Farmersville ran itself out of a scoring opportunity in the fourth. Jenson McTee opened with a single and was at second after a two-out wild pitch. Rylee Ortega walked on a pitch in the dirt and McTee took off for third. She was caught in a rundown to end the inning and Wolf ended the game by retiring nine of the final 10 batters, six on strikeouts.
The only balls which left the infield were the hits.
All of the runs came in the fifth inning when the Lady Bearcats nearly batted around against Reece Fetty, who came on in relief of McTee in the third. Hildebrand singled up the middle and Rylee Russell reached on an error that put both runners in scoring position. Keely Hartless then bunted out in front of the plate.
Hildebrand stayed at third and Russell headed there. Catcher Erin Blackburn tried to get her heading back to second but she was able to retreat and Whitesboro had the bases loaded with no outs for the top of the order.
Wolf hit a long drive to left which resulted in a sacrifice fly. BreAnn Beste followed with a single inside the right-field line to re-load the bases.
The Lady Bearcats had some bad luck when Elly Harper’s ball landed on the outfield grass just to the left of second base. It was out of the reach of both the shortstop, Erwin, and center fielder Jamie Varga but with one out the runners had to hold and see if it was caught.
Erwin recovered in time to get the force at home and keep the Lady Farmers’ deficit at a run for the moment.
Adams walked to force in a run and Dickson dunked a two-run single to right for a four-run cushion with two innings remaining.
Farmersville didn’t come close to a rally — McTee walked with two outs in the sixth but Wolf induced a groundout to second and the Lady Farmers went in order in the seventh, the last two on strikeouts.
Whitesboro had some early chances but left a runner in scoring position in both the first and fourth innings.
Harper took second on a two-out error in the first but Erwin made a diving catch in left-center to rob Adams of a hit. It was her second diving grab of the inning after doing the same to Wolf to open the game.
In the fourth, Adams had a one-out single to center and went to third after stealing second when the throw hit her and carried into right field.
But Dickson popped out to the pitcher and Maddy Cole struck out to keep the game scoreless, at least for one more inning until Whitesboro’s bats finally produced.
“Unfortunately it took them some time to get going,” Colwell said. “We need to make those adjustments earlier."