Written by SportsDayDFW.com
State softball roundup: Timely hitting, strong pitching put Pilot Point in final
AUSTIN — In Pilot Point’s game before Wednesday’s Class 2A state semifinal against Garrison, senior second baseman Lori Campbell did not even step to the plate.
Pilot Point coach James Ramsey had Campbell as a flex player in his lineup in Game 2 of the regional final series against Brock for what Campbell termed “punishment for making an error.”
After Wednesday’s semifinal, Campbell had the last laugh, and her coach could not have been happier after her two-run single capped a four-run inning to put the Lady Cats in front as they cruised to a 5-2 win over Garrison.
Pilot Point (39-2-1), the state’s top-ranked team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s 2A state poll for the season’s entirety, will face Santa Gertrudis Academy in the 2A title game at 6 p.m. Thursday. In Pilot Point’s only other state tournament appearance, it lost in the 3A semifinals in 2005.
“That was big,” Ramsey said of Campbell’s two-out, two-run single that stretched the Lady Cats’ lead from 2-0 to 4-0 in the third inning. “A lot of timely hits — Lori Campbell with a big, timely hit.”
Before the offensive onslaught, it looked as if an injury might have derailed the Lady Cats’ chances to break through on the scoreboard.
After reaching via error to lead off the inning, Natalie Larson ran to second base on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Haley Evans and beat a late throw from the Garrison third baseman but slid past the bag, grabbing her hamstring in pain. She was tagged out before Pilot Point coaches and trainers helped her off the field, leaving a runner at first with one out.
Pitcher Skylar Cagle doubled to put runners on second and third, and Preslee Gallaway was walked to load the bases with one out, bringing up Allison Strittmatter. On a 1-1 count, Strittmatter was hit by a pitch to score Evans. After a sacrifice fly from Sierra Brooks, Campbell did her thing.
“I was just thinking I can’t strike out,” Campbell said. “That’s all I was thinking. I couldn’t let them down. We were so close. That was big. We needed those runs.”
Cagle, a four-year starting pitcher and Northwestern State signee, had eight strikeouts and allowed just one earned run to improve to 27-0.
Santa Gertrudis Academy 7, Hawley 6: Maranda Gonzalez hit a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, capping a four-run inning to give Santa Gertrudis Academy a berth in the 2A final against Pilot Point.
Hawley was one out away from winning, but an error with the bases loaded allowed the tying run to score.
From staff reports