Win Moves Slocum into Regional Finals
By Will Johnson
DOUGLASS – The Slocum Lady Mustangs moved a step closer to the 2017-2018 UIL Class A State Softball Tournament with their 12-1 defeat of the Chester Lady Yellow Jackets on Friday, May 11.
The game was over – for all intents and purposes – after the first inning came to a close. The Lady Mustangs hung a seven spot on the Lady Jackets as they coasted the rest of the game and into the Regional Finals.
Jalyn Fletcher led off the game for Slocum and reached on an error. She took second on a passed ball and was joined on the base paths by Courtney January, who drew a walk off of Chester’s starting pitcher Josey Sturrock.
Jessi Ives followed January in the order and ripped a single into left to drive in Fletcher and move January to third. A two base error followed when Taylor Clark sent a rocket down the first baseline that plated both January and Ives.
Briley Evers followed with a single to give Slocum runners at first and second with no outs. Kara Cumby was the next Lady Mustang to come to the plate and she slapped a single into center field to drive in Clark and advance Evers to third.
The Lady Jackets finally recorded an out on Shelby Bowman’s fly ball to left. On the play, however, Evers tagged up and scampered home to make the score 5-0.
Chester simply gave the next run to Slocum as Sturrock unleashed a wild pitch which gave Bowman the needed opportunity to cross the plate.
Bella McNeill followed in the order and struck out but Laney Lasiter followed with a perfect bunt to keep the inning going. Fletcher was up next and she tripled into the gap to score Lasiter with the seventh run of the inning.
Slocum called on Fletcher to get the job done from the pitcher’s circle and she delivered yet again. After a walk to Chianne Chandler to open the bottom of the first, Fletcher struck out the next three batters she faced – Faith Loughner, Taylor Handley and Sturrock – to move the game into the second inning.
A quiet second inning gave way to third which saw Slocum tack on three runs to their lead. Bowman grounded out to open the frame and then McNeill reached second base on a throwing error. Lasiter drew a walk and then stole second.
Both McNeill and Lasiter scored when Fletcher roped a single into right which made the score 9-0. January followed with a single to advance Fletcher to second.
Ives hit into a fielder’s choice that caught Fletcher as she tried to advance advanced to third while January slid safely into second. A Clark single loaded the bases and January came home to score on a third wild pitch from Sturrock.
After Fletcher held the Lady Jackets at bay in the bottom of the third, the Lady Mustangs tacked on another run in the top of the fourth.
Cumby led off the inning with a single and moved to second after McNeill walked. Lasiter lined out to right and then Fletcher laced a single through the right side of the infield to load the bases. January singled past first to drive in Cumby to make the score 11-0.
The Lady Mustangs added another run in the top of the fifth while the Lady Jackets also scored to avoid the shutout. Nevertheless, Slocum went on to win the game by a score of 12-1 and the series by a 2-1 margin.
Fletcher picked up the win in five innings. She gave up one run on four hits, struck out seven and walked three.
Sturrock took the loss in five innings. She gave up 12 runs (five earned) on 16 hits, with one strikeout and three walks.
At the plate, the Lady Mustangs were led by Kara Cumby who was 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Fletcher also helped her own case as she went 3-5 with three RBI and one run scored.
The Lady Jackets were led by Carmen Mahaffey who was 1-1 with a run scored while Ashlyn Overstreet was 1-2 with a RBI.
Slocum will face the Sulphur Bluff Bears in the Regional Finals.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.