S&S loses against first-place Pilot Point
SADLER — Even though 10-3A play is only a couple weeks old, the Pilot Point Lady Bearcats have positioned themselves as the early front-runner.
They are the only ones without a district loss and have a two-game lead on five of the seven teams behind them in the standings.
The S&S Lady Rams were looking to bring the Lady Bearcats back to the pack and move into a tie for the top spot in the process but were unable to keep pace after the second inning as Pilot Point defeated S&S, 13-3, in a 10-3A match-up.
Ashlynn Fowler was 3-for-4 with a triple and scored three times, Presley Wilson singled and drove in a run, walked and was hit by a pitch and Riley Rasmussen double and drove in a run for S&S (5-3, 2-2), which plays at Callisburg on Saturday.
Ronnie Johnson was 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and struck out seven to get the win, Paige Cox was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, Gracie Sanders was 3-for-5 with a double and drove in a run and Ava Dennis was 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and scored twice for Pilot Point (10-6, 4-0).
Nine of the runs were unearned and S&S finished with six errors.
“The mistakes were huge but they’re easy to fix,” S&S head coach Brandy Courville said. “Just too many errors. I’m hoping we’re peaking at the latter half of district.”
Pilot Point tacked on three runs in the fifth after already holding a six-run lead. Dennis had a one-out RBI single to center and Johnson had a two-run double with two outs for an 11-2 margin.
The Lady Bearcats got an RBI single by Sanders in the sixth and one from Kylie Malone in the seventh.
S&S scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth when Fowler tripled to left and raced home on the back end of a double steal after Wilson walked and was caught trying to swipe second.
The Lady Rams left three in scoring position to go with three runners thrown out on the bases.
In the bottom of the fourth, S&S got a run back but left the chance at a bigger inning on the table. Fowler singled, Wilson was hit by a pitch and they moved up on a wild pitch.
Rasmussen followed with a sac fly to center and Wilson tagged up to reach third. Harlee Wooten reached on interference during a bunt attempt to put runners at the corners. Grace Hyde then bunted and first baseman Maiah Morris was unable to apply the tag as Hyde ran by.
Morris flipped the ball home but Wilson had initially held at third. She was ultimately caught in a rundown and instead of having the bases loaded with one out, the Lady Rams were back to runners at the corners and Piper Dickeson then popped out to end the inning.
After Malone led off the third with a triple and Rendy Garrett worked a one-out walk, Fowler came on to relieve Dara Muller. An error allowed a run to score and Dennis followed an an RBI groundout for an 8-1 advantage.
“We were going to switch pitchers at some point, I just wasn’t sure when it would happen,” Courville said. “We wanted to try and keep them off balance.”
The Lady Bearcats broke the game open in the second with five runs. In between a pair of outs, Sanders and Garrett singled. Dennis walked to load the bases and Kaitlyn Summerville walked to force in a run.
Johnson hit a liner to short that Wilson couldn’t snag for the final out and everyone was safe. Cox followed with a two-run double to center which was a few feet short of a grand slam but the damage was done and Pilot Point held a 6-1 lead.
“Those extra runs made a big difference. Little deflated after they went out and put up five,” Courville said.
S&S had just used a two-out rally in the bottom of the first to tie the game. Fowler singled up the middle and then Wilson dunked a hit into no-man’s land near the right-field line and Fowler raced around from first, just beating the throw to the plate.
Pilot Point had a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Cox’s double to left. It came right after the Lady Rams cut down Dennis at the plate on Johnson’s double to left-center thanks to a relay from Emberlynn Morin to Wilson to Dickeson.
Pilot Point 13