Sherman roughs up North during District 10-5A play
Back on their new field for the first time since the season-opener, the Lady Bearcats were enjoying a rare sizeable lead.
Three of their first four victories were by a single run and now there’s an added significance since all the games remaining are district contests.
The Lady Bearcats broke out in a big way with their second-highest run total of the season in a 9-3 victory over McKinney North in 10-5A action.
“Our whole lineup, at one time or another, has been producing,” Sherman head coach Reeca Huntsman said. “They can put it together and we can win ballgames.”
Ally Baker was 2-for-3 with a triple, three RBI and scored, Mackenzie Clark was 2-for-3 with a double, walked, drove in two and scored, Marissa Wells was 2-for-3, drove in a run and scored and Ava Gibson singled, walked twice, drove in a run and earned the victory for Sherman (5-9, 1-1), which avoided the prospect of starting district play 0-2 heading into its first meeting with the rival Lady Yellow Jackets at Denison on Tuesday night.
“The monkey’s definitely on your back if you’re 0-2. But Sherman-Denison is always more than records,” Huntsman said. “It’s nice to play with a little bit of confidence that’s for sure.”
Paige Cappell was 2-for-4 and scored for McKinney North (1-13, 1-1), which was coming off its first win against Princeton earlier in the week. The Lady Bulldogs have allowed at least nine runs in 12 contests.
After falling behind before they got a chance to bat, the Lady Bearcats put up runs in the first three innings on the way to an 8-2 lead.
The biggest output came in the bottom of the first and a majority of it came with two outs as Sherman sent 11 batters to the plate.
“We haven’t taken care of business in the first innings. I don’t know what it is but it’s been a struggle,” Huntsman said. “Something we talk about is win the inning — especially if we give up some runs.”
Miranda Farias and Gibson walked around an out and Emma Jones singled to load the bases. Farias scored on a wild pitch and Wells kept it going with a two-out walk.
Clark ripped a two-run double halfway up the left-field wall and Jarvis walked to reload the bases for Baker, who singled up the middle for two more runs and a 5-2 advantage.
It was a 6-2 lead the next inning when Gibson opened with a single, courtesy runner Emma Bindel stole second and Wells drove her in when she pulled a two-out single into right.
The Lady Bearcats tacked on two more runs in the third as the bottom of the lineup continued to produce. Jarvis singled to left center and Baker followed with a triple to left. Miller had a sac fly to center and Sherman had built an 8-2 lead.
“We’ve been working on not to get comfortable and add those runs in the middle of the game,” Huntsman said.
Through the first three innings the bottom four spots in the order were 8-for-8 in reaching safety (six hits and two walks).
“When the bottom of our lineup contributes, we’ve won ballgames,” Huntsman said.
Sherman closed out the scoring in the fifth when Miller singled with one out, went to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on Gibson’s groundout to third.
North had taken the lead two batters into the game. Grace Ahlborn tripled just out of Jarvis’ reach in center and scored on Natalie Morton’s comebacker to Gibson.
The Lady Bulldogs then loaded the bases on singles from Cappell and Delaney Hill sandwiched around an error.
Haylee Lavallee flew out to center for a sac fly but Leos was out trying to go to third and the inning ended there at 2-0.
Over the next six innings, North had a total of six base runners. Gibson finished with six strikeouts, a walk and only the first run was earned.
“She gets warm and hits her spots and she can be tough to beat,” Huntsman said.
The final run by the Lady Bulldogs came in the fourth. Hill reached on a dropped pop-up by second baseman Farias in short right field and the carom allowed Hill to make it to third. After Gibson induced a pair of pop-outs, Jaydah Mayfield singled to center to trim the deficit to five.
North did have a pair of runners reached in the sixth but Gibson followed with a strikeout and got a foulout to end that threat.
McKinney North 3