Lady Rams beat Maypearl to reach second round
LITTLE ELM — Once Dara Muller settled down and into a groove, Maypearl couldn't get the Lady Rams starter out of it until it was too late.
The S&S junior racked up a majority of her 17 strikeouts in the middle innings and was backed by some clutch two-out hitting as the Lady Rams defeated Maypearl, 7-3, in a Class 3A Region II bi-district contest.
"There was a lot of pressure and a lot of big things happening. Pressure situations and they came through," S&S head coach Brandy Courville said. "All our runs were with two outs. They came and took care of business."
S&S (13-6) advanced to face Emory Rains, which swept Gunter, in the area round at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Princeton.
Muller scattered seven hits and a walk and helped herself by singling, walking twice, driving in a run and scoring, Piper Dickeson was 2-for-3 and walked, Presley Wilson had a two-run single and Brenna Howard singled, walked and scored for the Lady Rams.
Haley Henson was 2-for-3 with a triple, hit by a pitch and scored and Tyla Williams was 2-for-4, drove in a run and scored for Maypearl (14-7), which was in the playoffs for first time in five years and trying to reach the second round for the first time since 2013.
Maypearl started to make thingsa little interesting in the seventh. Jaylee Dodd tripled to right and scored on a groundout by Haleigh Arterberry. A hit by pitch and fielder’s choice where everyone was safe followed. But Muller struck out the final two batters to close out the win.
"She doesn't think she's a strikeout pitcher but she is," Courville said.
S&S tacked on some insurance runs with a pair of two-out singles in the sixth. Dickeson walked to begin the inning and Howard dunked a one-out hit to right center. Ashlynn Fowler had a two-out infield single to the right side that plated the first run and Wilson followed with a two-run single up the middle for a 7-2 lead.
The Lady Panthers had the tying runs on base with one out in the fifth thanks to singles by Henson and Williams and they in scoring position with two outs after a double steal. Muller got a pair of strikeouts to keep S&S in front.
A pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth allowed the Lady Rams to take a 4-2 advantage. Muller singled but two quick outs followed. Riley Rasmussen lifted a long fly ball near the right-field line that Taysie Trejo touched in fair territory before it dropped to the turf.
The miscue allowed S&S to score the go-ahead run, Rasmussen went all the way to third and she scored when Harlee Wooten’s grounder to short was thrown away at first.
After the top of the second inning with the game tied at two, Muller settled down. She struck out the side in the second then worked around a two-out single in the third and a one-out single in the fourth.
Her counterpart, Arterberry, allowed a two-out single by Wooten in the third but induced a groundout and Dickeson’s single to start the fourth was erased when courtesy runner Marlee Howard was thrown out at second on a bunt attempt before things got away from her in the fifth.
S&S tied the game right after the Lady Rams fell behind. A leadoff double by Rasmussen kicked off the second inning and Wooten sacrificed her to third. Grace Hyde hit an infield single in the hole at short as S&S got on the board.
"Grace and Harlee make things happen, even if they're not hits," Courville said.
Dickeson blooped a single into right and Brenna Howard walked to load the bases. Muller walked on four pitches to force in a run but the Lady Rams left the bases full.
Maypearl had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Henson opened the inning with a triple to right-center and then scored on Williams’ infield single to short. An error on the play sent her to second and Caitlyn Ferguson had a one-out RBI single to left.
An obstruction call put her at second but she was stranded there after a strikeout and groundout to limit the damage to the pair of runs.
Class 3A Region II
At Little Elm