Little Cypress-Mauriceville remains undefeated in district softball action, barely. The Lady Bears needed a close force out at the plate to end the game at Bridge City Monday night. LC-M hung on for a draining 7-6 victory over the Bridge City Lady Cardinals.
Two runs in the top of the seventh gave the Lady Bears the lead for the third time in the game, 7-5. Bridge City would not go home quietly. Singles by Aleah McClanahan, Leah Jeffrey, and Ashley Gerrald cut the LC-M lead to one run with nobody out.
LC-M Coach Dena Adkins was forced to bring her starting pitcher Brianna Frenzel back to the circle who she had relieved with her sister Bailey to begin the fifth inning. Brianna got a fly to center for the first out. Aspen Daniels lined a soft liner to right for a hit loading the bases with Lady Cardinals.
Frenzel bore down and struck out the next Bridge City batter for out number two. That brought up the top of the order Abby Anderson. She swung and hit a topper in front of the plate that had loads of back spin on it. Frenzel hustled from the circle to get to the crazy bouncing ball and in one motion shuffled it underhanded to catcher Olivia Leavings for the force at home just nipping Jeffrey for the final out.
The game started like it might be another easy win for the district leading Lady Bears. LC-M took advantage of four walks and a hit batter to score two runs with only one out in the first inning. Coach Kayla Gallardo of Bridge City changed pitchers, and Madyson Melton struck out the first two batters she faced to get out of the inning with the Lady Cardinals only down by two runs.
That was quickly cut to one run in the bottom of the first. Frenzel who allowed only a seventh inning double in the last meeting with Bridge City surrendered a leadoff double to Anderson. After a sacrifice moved Anderson to third, Caitlin Denison brought her home with another double.
In the third inning Little Cypress-Mauriceville increased the lead to three runs. Reena Toomey was intentionally walked to start the inning. Leavings sacrificed her to second. Megan Peveto hit a hard grounder that Denision made a diving stop to glove at third, but threw low to first allowing Toomey to reach third and Peveto second. With two outs Madison Murdock delivered a clutch single to center to score both runners and make it 4-1 in favor of the Lady Bears.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth McClanahan hit a line drive over the left field fence to reduce the lead to two. Gerrald doubled just inside the left field line and went to third on a single by Kyndall Harrison. The Lady Cardinals executed a double steal scoring Gerrald and Harrison going to second making it a one-run ball game.
The lead only lasted one more batter as Daniels singled to center driving in Harrison with the tying run. Frenzel retired the next two Lady Cardinals, but switched to third base with her sister Bailey in the next inning.
The Lady Bears took the lead again in the top of the fifth inning. Payton Smith drew a base on balls off of Melton. Daniels made a nice running catch in center for Bridge City to get the second out, but Joanna Henry then singled to left. Ally White hit a ground ball that Smith jumped over as she ran to third causing Harrison to lose her concentration at shortstop and make a two base error. Smith scored to put LC-M on top 5-4.
The first three Lady Cardinals to face Bailey Frenzel in the bottom of the fifth all reached base. With one out Gerrald hit a fly to left that spurred some controversy when the umpire in the field ruled that Natilee Reed the Lady Cardinal runner at third left before the ball was caught and was ruled out for an inning ending double play. Coach Gallardo questioned the ruling with the home plate umpire who over ruled the other ump saying Reed did tag up properly and the run counted tying the game 5-5 after five.
The winning rally came in the top of the seventh by the Lady Bears. Murdock walked with one out. Henry and White followed with singles to load the bases. Brianna Frenzel flew out to shallow center with no chance for any of the runners to advance.
Sister Bailey was up next, and she smoked a line drive back up the middle that sounded like gun shot when the ball hit the pitcher Melton in the leg. Madyson hit the ground and had no chance for a play anywhere as Murdock scored to put the Lady Bears back up by one.
Showing some real fortitude Melton stayed in to pitch. The bases were still loaded when Toomey walked to bring in the second run of the inning and what proved to be the actual winning run in the game.
LCM will host WOS on Thursday. BC goes to HJ on Tuesday.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
LCM 2 0 2 0 1 0 2- 7
BC 1 0 0 3 1 0 1- 6
It was senior night at BC as Abby Anderson, Aleah McClanahan, , Caitlin Denison, and Vivian Nguyen were honored by Coach Kayla Gallardo and the staff.