Denison uses late push to put away Sherman
There is never a reason to take your rival lightly and the Lady Yellow Jackets were certainly in no position to do so.
Denison entered the final five games of the 10-5A schedule in a three-way tie for third place and every contest involving the Lady Jackets, Wylie East and The Colony will matter down the stretch.
“Every week is a playoff week. Every game is a playoff game,” DHS head coach Jeremy Green said. “The motto has been to find a way. Find a way to get on base. Find a way to make things happen.”
The Sherman Lady Bearcats did their best to try and play spoiler, putting the tying run at the plate in the fifth inning, but Denison put the game away with a seven-run seventh inning on the way to a 12-2 victory over the Lady Cats in district action at Sherman High School.
Madison Carter was 3-for-4 with two doubles, walked, drove in two and scored twice, Jewel Hiberd reached base five times, drove in two and scored twice, Hannah Grinspan was 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored, Ashlinn Hamilton scattered seven hits and two walks while striking out 13 and added a two-run triple and Maddison Luper had a two-run single for Denison (13-9, 6-4), which hosts McKinney North on Tuesday night. The Lady Jackets are now tied with The Colony for third after the Lady Cougars beat Wylie East.
Ava Gibson was 2-for-4 and drove in a run, Emma Jones went 2-for-3 and Miranda Farias singled, drove in a run and scored for for Sherman (6-16, 2-8), which travels to district co-leader Lovejoy on Tuesday.
The Lady Jackets won the first game by a 12-4 margin and the final outcome of the rematch looks similar but took a different path to get there.
Sherman broke through with its runs in the bottom of the fifth and had a chance to tie the game with one swing. It started with Addey Kuhn’s walk and pinch-hitter Natalie Rodriguez singled to left. A one-out wild pitch moved the runners up and Miranda Farias hit into a fielder’s choice which put the Lady Bearcats on the board. Farias was at third after a steal and wild pitch and she scored on Gibson’s two-out single to left.
Emma Jones singled behind her to give Sherman a chance to get closer but Hamilton ended the inning with a three-run cushion intact.
The Lady Cats had only one base runner in the final two innings — a one-out single in the sixth from Libby Cernero.
In the seventh, Denison produced all seven runs with two outs. Hiberd had a lead-off single but Bailey Miller got two quick outs. Sherman was about to be out of the inning down 5-2 on Campbell Anderson’s comebacker but first baseman Jenica Fielder dropped the throw to start a stretch where seven straight Lady Jackets reach base.
McKenna Doty pinch hit and worked a walk before Camryn Nixon’s infield single loaded the bases.
Carter clobbered a 3-0 pitch for a two-run double into left center before Hamilton followed with a two-run triple to right center for a 10-2 lead.
Grinspan beat out an infield hit to short to bring home Hamilton and Hiberd’s second at-bat of the inning was another hit, this time driving in a run for the final margin.
The first five Lady Jackets reached to begin the fifth inning to open up a 5-0 advantage. Carter and Hamilton walked and Grinspan followed with an RBI single just inside the right-field line that put runners at the corners. Grinspan stole second before Hiberd’s fly to left was dropped by Lauren Whitmire. A run scored on the play and an error on the throw home had both runners in scoring position.
Luper then singled up the middle to plate the pair for the five-run margin.
Denison got on the board in the third inning when Nixon and Carter opened with infield singles, the latter being a liner off Gibson’s right thigh.
Nixon then tagged up on a fly ball to right-center and scored when Mackenzie Clark tried to pick her off third and the throw skipped away.
Gibson closed out the third inning before Miller started the fourth in the circle. Sherman head coach Reeca Huntsman said it was not injury related as Gibson stayed in the game, playing third, and came back to pitch for the game’s final out.
The Lady Jackets struggled early, stranding a pair in the third to go with leaving the bases loaded in the first. Gibson worked in an out of trouble by alternating base runners and strikeouts. Nixon was hit by a pitch, Hamilton walked with one out and Hiberd was hit by a pitch with two outs before she struck out Luper.
Hamilton retired the first seven she faced, five by strikeout, before Maddie Jarvis walked with one away in the third. She went to second on a wild pitch and the Lady Bearcats had runners at the corners following Farias’ smash to third.
Farias was in the process of stealing second when Hiberd picked off Jarvis to end the inning and keep Denison in front.