Lady Spartans score early, often to down Burleson
ARLINGTON — Centennial softball coach Shannon Sullivan said her team relishes being the visiting team in a game because it allows them to set the tone by hitting first.
The Lady Spartans did a little more than set the tone Friday afternoon in Game 2 of their best-of-three Class 5A Region I quarterfinal series against arch-rival Burleson at the Workman Sports Complex.
Needing a win to reach the regional semifinals, Centennial scored seven runs in the first inning and added 10 second-inning runs on the way to a 19-0 win to clinch the series.
“I don’t really know what to say,” Sullivan said. “They left it all out there. That was a statement game. We took care of business tonight. In practice yesterday we worked on some things that we needed to iron out. Even when we were up by a lot of runs, I stayed on them because we can’t be complacent. I was excited to get some players in that haven’t seen the field yet.”
Centennial (29-3), the No. 6 ranked team in Class 5A in the most recent Class 5A Texas Girls Association poll, have won 26 consecutive games. The Lady Spartans will take on Canyon in a best-of-three regional semifinal series at the Wichita Falls ISD Softball Complex. Game 1 is slated for 7 p.m. Friday. Game 2 will be at noon Saturday with a deciding third game to follow 30 minutes after Game 2, if needed.
Burleson (17-14) lost in the regional quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. The Lady Elks managed four runners in the game. Emory Smith singled and walked while Kyleigh Rich and Lauren Isbell each collected singles.
In the first, seven of the Lady Spartans first eight hitters reach base and eventually scored. Bailey White singled home a pair of runs in the inning.
Eva Scott had a nice time at the plate in the second inning. The senior doubled in a run in her first at bat of the second. With two out and two on Scott blasted a home run high over the left field wall for a 17-0 lead. Scott finished the game going 3-for-4 with four RBI.
“We knew that we needed to go into the game with big bats and tight defense,” Scott said. “Once we hit the ball then we get to do what we love to do which is run them bases. We just kept hacking at the ball and scoring runs.”
The Lady Spartans tallied 21 hits but just four for extra bases. Sydney Friend went 4-for-5 with two RBI. Gracie Morton and White each had three hits. White collected two RBIs as did Marley Eller, Reagan Ellison and Kallyn Ciesynski. Ellison and Eller each doubled.
Hayley Murrell started the game for Centennial in the circle. The freshman toss two innings allowing one hit while striking out one and walking one. Crystal Peebles worked the final three innings. She gave up two hits and struck out two.
The win was the Lady Spartans fourth this season over Burleson.
“Unfortunately it was a bad game on our end to bring such a good season to a close,” Burleson coach Summer Owen said. “After the way we played Wednesday, I truly thought there was going to be a different outcome in Game 2 but we just didn’t show up. My team and I wish Centennial the best of luck. Even if it isn’t by us, we are proud that Burleson will continue to be represented in the playoffs and hopefully in the state championship.”