Denison pulls away to beat Sherman
After the Lady Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first inning and came away empty, it looked like a missed opportunity which might come back to haunt Denison against the rival Sherman Lady Bearcats.
Instead, the Lady Jackets found plenty of success in those situations the rest of the way, scoring all but one of their runs when they were facing the end of an inning.
Two big early outbursts provided plenty of cushion for a 12-4 victory in District 10-5A action at Denison.
“We did a good job with our pitch selection,” Lady Jackets head coach Jeremy Green said. “I was proud of the bottom of the lineup. They stepped up and really came through.”
Ashlinn Hamilton did not allow an earned run on three hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks and also went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, a hit by pitch, three RBI and scored twice, Hannah Grinspan was 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored twice, Maddison Luper was 3-for-3, walked, drove in a run and scored twice and Madison Carter was 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored twice for Denison (9-6, 2-1), which gained sole possession of third place and travels to McKinney North on Friday.
Marissa Wells was 2-for-3 and scored, Madison Jarvis singled and scored and Mackenzie Clark and Miranda Farias each walked and scored for Sherman (5-9, 1-2), which hosts Lovejoy on Friday night.
Denison tacked on two runs in the fifth to close out the scoring. Hamilton was hit by a pitch with one out and Katelynn Martinez walked with two down. Kiki Carter and Luper followed with RBI singles.
The Lady Bearcats took advantage of a two-out error in the fourth to pick up a pair of runs and trim the deficit to six. Wells and Jarvis started the inning with singles but it looked like Hamilton would keep Sherman off the board.
She struck out the next two and got a ground ball to second that was going to end the inning but Kiki Carter misplayed it and a run scored. Then with runners at the corners, Jarvis came home on the back end of a double steal and it was 10-4 but Sherman couldn't get any closer.
The Lady Jackets broke the game open with a six-run third inning when it looked like Ava Gibson was going to get out of the inning unscathed. Denison had loaded the bases with no outs on walks to Kiki Carter and Luper before Camryn Nixon was hit by a pitch.
Gibson then notched a pair of strikeouts and was on the verge of escaping. But the next four Lady Jackets reached to push Denison’s lead to 10-2.
Grinspan singled off Gibson’s glove and second baseman Farias couldn’t get the ricochet to second in time for the force. Luper was caught in a rundown off third but the throw to the bag went off Bailey Miller’s glove and into left, allowing her to score.
Hamilton then ripped a ball through the right side that plated a pair and came all the way around on an error on the play.
Madison Carter kept the inning going with a single and she scored from first on Martinez’s double to right.
“We’ve scored double digits the last two games,” Green said. “We’ve had some really good hits — you put together 15 hits and you’re going to score some runs.”
Sherman had just cut the deficit in half in the top of the third without a hit. Clark walked, Ally Baker sacrificed, Farias walked and then Miller moved both into scoring position before Gibson walked to load the bases.
Emma Jones hit a grounder to second that Kiki Carter couldn’t field cleanly and a pair of runs scored before Hamilton kept the margin at 4-2 with a strikeout to end the frame.
“She can find another level when she has runners on,” Green said. “That’s a big sign of great pitching.”
Denison started the scoring in the second. Luper led off with a single and Nixon laid down a sacrifice between the circle and first base. Nixon beat a covering Farias to the bag while Luper continued to third and Nixon took second on the throw across the diamond.
With one out, Jewel Hiberd hit a fly ball to left that Clark hauled in at the wall for a sac fly and the Lady Jackets were on the board. Grinspan followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners and Hamilton sliced an RBI double the other way to left center.
Madison Carter had a two-run single behind second base, just barely out of the reach of shortstop Addey Kuhn's lunge, and Denison held a 4-0 advantage.