Solemn senior night

Lady Tigers play last district home game


Kailyn Williams

The Lady Tiger’s senior line up along the first baseline chalk on senior night against the Whitehouse Lady Wildcats Tuesday, April 18, 2023. From left to right, third baseman Emma Prince, first baseman Anna Shults and manager Kiara Martin. The Lady Tigers fell to the Wildcats 6-9.

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

The Lady Tigers hosted Whitehouse at home Tuesday, April 18, for their senior night matchup. With a new head coach on the season, the Tigers went into the game nursing a 5-7 district record.

The Lady Wildcats of Whitehouse barreled into the district, throwing a wrench into rankings with an 10-2 record before taking on Texas in the second round matchup. 

Freshman Sydney Woods got the start for Texas, making for a quick first inning, only scratching off 10 pitches. The Wildcats managed to board a base runner in the first after a long double to left field by their two hole hitter, however a ground out and two popouts allowed the Tigers to head to the dugout with no damage.  

In the bottom of the first, a similar chain of events unfolded for Texas. A couple of flyouts and a groundout left senior Emma Prince stranded on first after her hard hit single to the Wildcat shortstop.

“Playing on my senior night I felt very grateful looking back on all the memories I have made over the last four years,” Prince said. “It was also very emotional since it was my last time playing at home in front of my parents and grandparents who have been at every single game, supporting me along the way.”

Woods started the second inning with a long at bat, resulting in a walk. The Wildcat’s six hole, Sierra Channel, roped a line drive to center field for a triple, letting Whtiehouse strike first and giving them the lead 1-0. 

A ground ball back to the pitcher from Paige Goodell scored Channel, extending Whitehouse’s lead to 2-0. A Tiger defensive error put a runner in scoring position for the Wildcats, however, Texas got out of the inning without giving up any more runs. 

Going into the bottom of the second inning with a two run deficit, the Tigers’ energy in the dugout proved enough to will them on. 

Senior Anna Shults led off the bottom of the second, getting the Tigers a lead off base runner after a line drive to right field for a single. 

“Playing on my senior night felt really,” Shults said. “Especially being able to compete with a really good team like Whitehouse.”

Freshman Preslie Clopp came up big in the six hole with a line drive to the right-center gap for an RBI, scoring Shults from first base. Junior Brooklyn Threadgill followed suit with a hard ground ball down the third baseline for a double, scoring Clopp for an RBI of her own. Threadgill was awarded home plate on a technicality, after Whitehouse threw the ball into the Tiger dugout resulting in a dead ball making the score 3-2 with Texas in the lead.

It was so sad knowing that was my last time stepping on the field at home with some of my bestfriends and that makes me even more thankful for all of the games we have played together.

— Four year varsity softball player, senior Emma Prince

Whitehouse answered with a run of their own in the top of the third inning after their leadoff batter reached via error and scored on a line drive to right field, tying the game at three. 

Texas regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning, stringing together a few hits and walks. Junior Gabi Lancaster did the damage with a two RBI double to right field, scoring Threadgill and Shults. The Wildcats were forced to make a pitching change, pulling Elli Green off of third base to come to the mound. Green forced a five pitch strikeout to end the inning. The Tigers went into the top of the fourth inning with a lead of 5-3. 

Whitehouse responded in the top of the fourth, boarding their leadoff batter with a line drive to left field. The nine hole, Aubrey O’Bryant, for the Wildcats scratched off a first pitch ground ball to third baseman Prince who got the lead runner out at second. O’Bryant sneaked past the double play at first, leaving Whitehouse with one base runner and bringing up the top of the lineup.

Whitehouse’s leadoff batter, Kate Jones, stretched a long at bat, ultimately finishing with a line drive to left field. The Tigers got their second out via ground ball, moving runners to second and third. This brought up the Wildcats’ three-hole, Grace Ann McDonald, the previous pitcher for Whitehouse. 

McDonald took a ball for her first pitch, then smashed a three-run-homerun over the left field wall, making the score 6-5 in favor of Whitehouse.

Woods came back and threw a ground ball out, getting Texas out of the inning.

The new pitcher for Whitehouse proved challenging for the Tigers, who went hitless across the fourth and fifth innings with four strikeouts. The Texas defense and pitching, however, stepped up, leaving the Wildcats scoreless across the fifth and six as well. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers went in still down 5-6. After a leadoff strikeout, junior Anna Bell Lee slapped a ground ball to the shortstop, forcing an error and boarding a base runner. 

Texas pushed Lee across the plate, tying the game at six going into the top of the seventh inning. 

The Wildcats boarded their leadoff batter on a dropped flyball in the infield. The Whitehouse five hole, Green, hit a ground ball to junior shortstop Mollie Fisher, who got the fielder’s choice out at second for the first out of the inning. After walking the seven hole, Woods managed to scratch off a four pitch strikeout.

With two outs, two baserunners and a tied 6-6 score, the Wildcats made an unconventional choice of pinch hitting for their designated player, who went 1-3 at the plate on the night. 

Woods got ahead of the pinch hitter, Mahayla McMahon, in the count 0-2. McMahon worked the count back to 3-2. On the payoff pitch, McMahon smoked a line drive to center field, scoring two runs for the Wildcats. The nine hole scored McMahon with a ground ball to center field, giving Whitehouse a lead of 9-6 in the top of the seventh. 

Green for Whitheouse made quick work of the TIgers in the top of the seventh inning.

With two backwards K’s and a hard line drive out to first base, the Tigers went down with a final score of 9-6.