Wildcats sneak by the Tigers

Sulphur Springs rallies late to win 5-4


Photo by Kailyn Williams

Sophomore Mollie Fisher battles Sulphur Springs pitcher Crimson Bryant in the first inning of the game on March 17, 2022. Fisher’s at-bat lasted nine pitches with an eventual strikeout.

Story by Kailyn Williams, staff writer

The Lady Tigers fell to the Lady Cats of Sulphur Springs on March 17, making their district record 2-1.

To open the game, the Tigers started slow offensively, with two fly-outs and a strikeout. The Lady Tigers were unable to capitalize on the free base given to junior Emma Prince via walk. 

Going into the bottom of the first, The Wildcats boarded one base runner on a line drive to right field, but the Tigers escaped the inning giving up no runs. At the end of the first inning, the score was knotted at zero. 

The Wildcats made a quick first three outs, a ground out, pop out, and a strikeout. 

In the bottom of the second, a leadoff line drive to center field, a shot off the centerfield wall, and a walk left the Wildcats with the bases loaded. Senior Lizzie Smith got the Tigers a big strikeout, Then a line drive was caught by junior third baseman Emma Prince, and the Tigers turned a double play getting them out of the inning with no damage. The score remained tied at zero after the second inning.

The Lady Cats got two quick strikeouts to open the third inning. Sophomore Mollie Fisher scratched off a line drive to left field. Senior Valeria Perez took a pitch off the helmet, leaving the Tigers with two base runners and two outs. Prince hit the left-center gap, scoring Fisher and Perez, and advanced to third on the throw home. A wild pitch fourth ball to senior Lauren Allred scored Prince, and Allred took second base. Sophomore Mally Lumpkin hit a hard ground ball to right field, scoring Allred from second. Smith ended the inning with a strikeout. 

In the bottom of the second, Smith walked the lead-off batter. A ground ball to Fisher resulted in a fielder’s choice, getting the lead runner out at second. Another fielder’s choice by Prince resulted in the Tiger’s second out. The Lady Tigers closed the bottom of the third with a fly-out to Perez and a 4-0 lead over the Wildcats.

The Lady Tigers forced the Wildcat’s ace junior Crimson Bryant out the circle, something no team has done in the past two seasons. With a new pitcher in the circle, the Tigers were unable to board any base runners, with two pop-outs and a ground out.

A lead-off walk in the bottom of the fourth, followed by a ground ball to right field, resulted in two base runners for the Lady Cats. A passed ball advances the runners to second and third base. After a pop-out to first base, the two Wildcat runners scored on two throwing errors at home. Smith gave another free pass, followed by a pick-off error at first that advanced the runner to second, who then made it to third on another passed ball. Smith came back with a strikeout, but a blooper to right field scored the runner on third. Lumpkin ended the inning by catching a pop fly. The Tigers still led at the end of the fourth 4-3.

Fisher got on with a line drive to left field, she then stole second. A sacrifice bunt by Perez advanced Fisher to third. Prince hit a ground ball to the pitcher who threw home, getting Fisher in a rundown. Fisher was ruled out at home plate, and Prince advanced to second. The Wildcats chose to put Allred on first with an intentional walk, followed by another walk to Lumpkin. The Lady Tigers left the bases loaded, closing the inning with a strikeout.

The Tigers got a quick two outs to start the fifth inning with a flyout to Lumpkin and a groundout to Prince. The Wildcats boarded two runners off of two hits. The Lady Tigers got out of the inning with a foul pop fly caught by Allred behind home plate. 

The Tigers started the sixth inning with a lead-off walk and a strikeout. A sacrifice bunt advanced the Tiger’s runner to second, however, Fisher ended the inning with a lineout to left. 

The Wildcats had a quick showing in the bottom of the sixth, with a strikeout and two popouts. The score remained at 4-3 going into the top of the seventh. 

Perez started the seventh with a strikeout, Prince boarded on a ground ball to left field. The Wildcats chose not to pitch to Allred, for a second time, intentionally walked her. A ground ball to the pitcher from Lumpkin resulted in a fielder’s choice out at third. A hard line drive up the middle for Smith was snagged by the Wildcat’s diving shortstop and she would get Lumpkin out at second. 

The Lady Wildcats leadoff batter skyed a pop fly that dropped in the infield. A lineout to center field left the Wildcat’s runner at second. Smith struck out the Wildcat’s fourth batter looking. A dropped pop fly in centerfield allowed the Lady Cat’s tying run to come across the plate, and let the batter advance to second. A perfectly placed ground ball between third and shortstop scored the Wildcat’s winning run in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, making the final score 5-4. 

“These girls are playing good softball, when opportunities arise they are doing everything they can to win,” head coach Lacey Middlebrooks said. “I hate that we lost, but these are learning points.”