LONGVIEW, Texas – Bloomburg softball players, coaches and fans left LeTourneau University’s field Saturday with a bitter-sweet feeling.
The Lady Wildcat’s most successful season (16-10) came to and end as Chireno rebounded to beat Bloomburg twice Saturday, 11-0 and 9-6. Chireno advances to the Class A state tournament next Friday in Austin after winning the Region III-A championship.
Kayla Durrett was arguably the difference in the three-game series. She pitched a no-hitter in the series opener, but lost 2-0. She shut out the Wildcats Saturday morning in the second game with a three-hitter. Bloomburg managed just four hits off the Lady Owls’ star pitcher in the decisive third game. Durrett allowed a combined seven hits in the three games.
Saturday’s 90-degree heat did take a toll on both teams. Durrett walked five and hit four Bloomburg batters in the third game.
Bloombug had early lead in third game.
Hanna Parker led off the bottom of the first with a single for the Wildcats. She moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Haylee Breedlove. Losing pitcher Corrine Ray followed with a walk. Parker scored the game’s first run when Haylea Pond doubled to right-center. Ray scored three pitches later on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Leading 2-1, the Wildcats scored a gift run in the third after Ray walked. The catcher’s pickoff attempt sailed into the right field corner, allowing Ray to circle the bases for a 3-1 lead.
Pond started in the circle for Bloomburg, and appeared to tire in the fourth, yielding six runs on six hits. Still, the Wildcats continued to battle hard, getting back in contention with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Mote walked with one out, with Scott hit by a pitch on Durrett’s next offering. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, scoring on a single by Breedlove. Ray then smashed a run-scoring triple to make it an 8-6 score.
Chireno was given an insurance run in the seventh when reliever Corrine Ray recorded her fourth strikeout. However, the ball got past the catcher, whose throw went into rightfield. The Owls’ runner circled the bases for the game’s final run.