The Lady Tigers have won several games this season based on their offense, but pitching was the name of the game on a chilly Friday afternoon in the Glen Rose Tournament.
Glen Rose (4-2) allowed just two hits as time expired with the Lady Tigers batting in the bottom of the fifth during a 4-2 win over Whitney. The Lady Tigers had six hits and made more errors (3-1).
After not pitching on day one of the tourney, Madison Calvert (3 IP, 0 H, HBP, 8 K) got the start and owned the Whitney lineup before Hannah Morales (2 IP, 2 R – 0 ER, 2 H, W, K) came in to finish the job.
“It was a good outing for both Madison and Hannah,” said coach Kiel Miller. “Madison is limited right now in the number of pitches she can throw, and we hope to get her a couple more innings in our second game. We played well outside of the fifth inning, and those errors were a matter of us trying too hard to make something happen. We have to eliminate the bad inning.”
Morales (double, single, RBI) led the offense in the victory. Other contributors were Calvert (single, RBI), Madi Gibson (single, RBI), Destiny Ponce (double), Amber Ponce (single), and Cheyenne Harton (RBI).
Calvert retired the side in the first with two strikeouts and a fielded groundout by first baseman Gibson. The Whitney pitcher returned the favor in the home first with two strikeouts. Glen Rose had six strikeouts in the ballgame.
“Watching the third strike go by drives me insane,” Miller said. “I’d much rather see a player go down swinging.”
Calvert then struck out all three batters she faced in the second.
“We only threw four off-speed pitches with Madison; everything else was fastballs,” Miller said. “It was a dominant performance.”
Destiny Ponce then drilled a double off the fence in left to lead off the home second. She later scored on a Harton RBI sac bunt (1-0).
“That’s the closest we’ve come to a home run so far this year,” Miller said. “She got underneath it just a hair, and it would’ve been a home run Thursday with the wind we had. That was excellent execution (on the bunt). Cheyenne can run pretty well and it was a close play at first base; she might be our best bunter.”
After hitting a batter to open the third, Calvert finished strong with three more strikeouts.
Although Glen Rose didn’t score in its third, Morales did drive a double to the fence to open the inning.
“Hannah is a very good hitter,” Miller said. “She’s going to be a leading producer on the team.”
Morales faced just four batters in the fourth, as left fielder Sabrina Watson caught a fly ball and catcher Harton tracked down a foul pop. Amber Ponce singled in the home fourth and with two outs a Gibson RBI single made it 2-0. A Morales RBI single to left pushed the lead to 3-0.
While Glen Rose quickly registered two outs in the fifth via a Morales strikeout and Watson catching a line drive, the Lady Tigers made three errors and an RBI single enabled Whitney to pull within 3-2.
“A lot of the mistakes we make are routine plays, so if you make all of them, the great plays will come,” Miller said. “Sabrina is doing a great job in left field.”
Calvert fielded a groundout at second base with the bases loaded to prevent further damage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Page Green reached base on an error and a Calvert RBI single to left field finalized the score (4-2). The game ended with Harton batting with the bases loaded.
“That was a big hit because I like to have some cushion late in the game,” Miller said. “That’s what you look for from a senior.”
The Lady Tigers tied Bosqueville 5-5 on Friday. They are set to face Godley at 9 a.m. and Mart at 12:30 p.m. in the tourney on Saturday. A report on all three games will be posted Saturday.