MADISONVILLE – Sara Robertson silenced Lufkin Hudson’s often-noisy bats, and as a result her own team is raucously moving on to the regional semifinals.
Robertson, Lorena’s junior pitcher, tossed a complete-game shutout in a 5-0 series-clinching win over Hudson in Saturday’s third game of the Region III-4A quarterfinal series. Lorena (25-8) will move on to play the Livingston vs. Huffman Hargrave winner in next week’s regional semis.
Robertson wasn’t overpowering, as she didn’t strike out any batters, but she was effective at putting the ball in the zone and letting her defense work behind her. She limited Hudson to only six hits – just one that went for extra bases – and walked only one. Fifty-one of her 77 pitches went for strikes.
Lorena got the game started right at the plate by scoring one in the opening inning on a solo homer from hot-hitting Kaci Donaldson. The blast was into the wind, and was Donaldson’s 10th homer of the season.
The Lady Leopards stretched the lead to 4-0 in the third on an equally impressive three-run jack from Alexis Nava, and Lorena added its fifth run in the fifth, scoring on a Hudson error.
Donaldson and Ashlyn Wachtendorf each went 2-for-4 to top Lorena at the plate.
Wylie 4, Midway 2
WAXAHACHIE – Wylie’s top three batters in the order went 6-for-11, helping the Lady Pirates hold off Midway and take the teams’ 6A regional quarterfinal series, two games to none.
Wylie bounced out to a 3-0 lead after three innings, scoring two in the first and one in the third. But Midway scratched its way back to within 3-2, thanks to an RBI double from Maddie Pfleging in the fourth and another run-scoring gapper for a double from Camryn Collier in the fifth.
But Wylie (33-2) added an insurance run an inning later, and Midway couldn’t stage another rally. The Pantherettes brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but closed with a flyout and a groundout.
Rylen Wiggins went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs for Wylie.
Midway finishes up a solid season at 20-13.
Lorena 3, Rusk 1
MADISONVILLE – The Leopards used a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning to vault past Rusk and sweep their Class 4A area-round playoff series.
Rusk held Lorena scoreless until the sixth, but the Leopards awakened in a big way at that point. Ben Smedshammer drilled a one-out double, and then Blake Ustanik crushed his own double to left to bring home Smedshammer with the tying run. Three batters later, Hayden Schrader pounded Lorena’s third double of the inning, a two-run job that pushed the Leopards into the lead.
Braden Herbelin did the job from there, as he closed out the game with a hitless seventh inning for the win. Between Herbelin and the starting pitcher Bo Smedshammer, Lorena tallied nine strikeouts on the mound and gave up only two hits.
Lorena will face Carthage, which swept Hillsboro in area-round action, in next week’s regional quarterfinals.
Troy 3, West 0
CLEBURNE – Troy’s Sam Lewis and Hagen Rose combined on a three-hit shutout as Battle of the Trojans in the Class 3A area round. The game was originally supposed to be played in Troy, but was shifted to Cleburne on Saturday due to rain.
Troy (27-8) lost the opening game of the series on Friday before rebounding to take the final two, including Saturday’s finale.
Lewis was brilliant, giving up only three hits in 6.2 innings while striking out six. Then Rose came on to get the final out on a groundout, as West had threatened in the seventh by putting two runners on base.
The game featured a nice pitcher’s duel between Lewis and West’s Tyler Kaluza at the starat, but Troy broke through to score two runs in the third on a West error and a Rose sacrifice fly. Troy added a bit of insurance an inning later when it scored on a fielder’s choice grounder.
Troy will face the Rogers-Grandview winner in the regional quarterfinals next week.