By Will Johnson
LOVELADY – The Slocum Lady Mustangs are one step away from sending a second team in 2017 to compete for a UIL Class 1A state championship.
First, there was the Slocum Lady Mustangs basketball team that made it to the state semifinals – and now – following their 11-0 win over the Kennard Lady Tigers on Wednesday, the Lady Mustangs stand at the threshold of an invite to the state softball tournament.
Jalyn Fletcher was in the pitcher’s circle for the Lady Mustangs and held the Lady Tigers in check for five innings. Fletcher didn’t allow any runs, gave up only three hits and had zero walks as she pitched Slocum into the Regional Finals next week.
The Lady Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning of play and never looked back. After a quick top half of the second, Slocum roughed up Kennard pitcher Ashley Roy for four runs in the bottom half of the inning to effectively put the game away.
Briley Evers led off with a triple. Christy Dunnam was brought in as a courtesy runner for Evers and scored when Kara Cumby reached first on a fielding error.
Cumby stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scampered home on Shelby Bowman’s sacrifice fly.
Laney Lasiter followed with a single to center field and moved to second when Fletcher drew a walk from Roy.
A double steal moved both Lady Mustangs into scoring position and when Courtney January’s hard hit grounder was mishandled, Lasiter scored while Fletcher took her place at third.
After a pop up for the second out of the inning, Makayla Bickerstaff lined a rocket to short which brought Fletcher home and increased the Slocum lead to 6-0.
Slocum batted around in the second inning and the Lady Mustangs liked it so much, they did it again in the bottom of the third. Evers led off with a single and Dunnam came in to run. Cumby followed with a double to left and moved Dunnam to third.
A passed ball brought Dunnam home and sent Cumby to third. Bowman followed with a single to center which plated Cumby and made the score 8-0.
Following the first out, Fletcher roped a ball into left which moved Bowman to second. January walked to load the bases and following a pop up for the second out, Bickerstaff delivered a two-out, two run single over short which drove in Bowman and Fletcher and made the score 10-0.
Slocum added a run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cumby scored on Lasiter’s single and when Fletcher retired the side in order in the top of the fifth, the Lady Mustangs punched their ticket to the Regional Finals with the 11-0 win.
Slocum will face the winner of the game between the Sulphur Bluff Lady Bears and the Union Hill Lady Bulldogs in the Class 1A Region III Finals. The date, time and location of the game were not available as of press time.
Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.