Lady Dogs shut out of playoffs
FRANKLIN—Getting shut out by one of the top Class A teams in the state is not exactly how one would like to end their high school softball career but that was the case for Thorndale's four senior players in their 6-0 loss to No. 2 Mart last Wednesday in the regional quarterfinals.
Mart pitcher Mikel Ann Caddell and Thorndale ace Angel Bigan battled for two innings, but defensive errors on the Lady Dogs behalf broke the game open for Mart (23-2).
"It was two pretty good pitchers going at it and whoever gets hits catches a break," Thorndale Coach Lance Betak said. "We could never break through (with hits) and had an uphill battle to climb all night."
Behind Caddell, Mart held the 19-9 Lady Dogs to just two hits through seven innings. Caddell struck out nine Thorndale players.
Bigan just managed four Ks in three innings of work. Sophomore Kim Leschber took the mound in the top of the fourth and struck out two in four innings of work.
Mart scored four runs in the top of the third after a walk, single by Caddell and base-clearing double by Lexxi Davenport.
In the top of the fifth, Davenport ripped an inside fastball from Leschber straight over the centerfield wall for a solo home run and the Lady Panthers fifth run. Three straight hits by Mart in the top of the seventh would lead to their sixth and final run.
The Lady Dogs' two lone hits came from sophomore Shelby Stolte in the fifth and senior Rainey Simank to lead off the seventh.
The defeat leaves the Lady Dogs with big shoes to fill with the loss of pitcher Angel Bigan, catcher Samantha Vasquez, first baseman Lauren Hairston and designated player Rainey Simank, all seniors and all starters.
"Our four seniors have been a big part the last four years and will be hard to replace," Lady Dogs head coach Lance Betak said. "They have played a big part in the success of the softball program."
Thor nda le won its second straight district title and its fourth consecutive trip to the postseason in 2009.
Since their game with Thorndale, Mart has knocked Charlotte out of the postseason and will face Iola in the Region IV-A finals this weekend.
Iola knocked off top ranked and defending state champion Shiner in the regional quarterfinals.
First game of that series is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Texas A&M Softball Complex with game two set for 1 p.m. Saturday at MCC Highlassies Field in Waco.
Game three, if necessary, will be played following the conclusion of game two. The winner will advance to the UIL State Softball Tournament June 4-6 in Austin.
Mart 6, Thorndale 0 Mart 004 000 2—6 Thorndale 000 000 0—0
W-Caddell. L-Bigan. HR: Davenport (M). 2B: Davenport (M)