Lady Cardinals beat Lady Knights
By BY Jason Orts - SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
May 12, 2011 at 12:12 a.m.
WACO - Six innings of solid softball was nearly derailed by one of sloppy play for Shiner St. Paul in Thursday's TAPPS Class 1A/2A state semifinals.
But after the Lady Cardinals watched a 7-1 lead over Wichita Falls Notre Dame completely dissolve, Emily Wagner crushed a double to the right-centerfield gap that brought courtesy runner Christina Squyres all the way around from first to turn the near-disaster into a state championship game berth, 8-7 at the Waco ISD Complex.
"Oh my God," Shiner St. Paul coach Kaedy Hermes said. "All I can say is, thank Jesus. ... Seniors, that last inning was a leadoff single from my senior pitcher, and a game-winning double by my other senior. They've really come through for us."
Shiner St. Paul will play for the state crown at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Waco ISD Complex.
Paige Werner led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a rope to left field for a base hit before being lifted for Squyres, who never broke stride when the ball left Wagner's bat. The ball was on the infield when Squyres reached third, but Hermes sent her home and there was no relay throw as the ball got away from the Notre Dame infielders.
Werner was dominant for the first four innings.
In fact, she didn't allow a base-runner until one reached on an error to lead off the fifth. The Lady Knights (16-4) got their first hit in the sixth on an ground ball that stretching a second baseman Mary Adamek couldn't quite squeeze.
St. Paul (17-7) was afforded some leeway by jumping all over Notre Dame from the get-go.
Wagner got the Lady Cardinals going in the first inning by sending a high fly into a helping wind in left field, and it carried just over the fence for a three-run home run and an early 3-0 cushion.
It grew to 5-0 when Kylie Natal cranked a double down the left-field line that brought Bethany Pokluda and Mary Adamek to the plate.
After Notre Dame got on the board with a run in the sixth, St. Paul added two. Pokluda and Katelynn Leist scored in the inning in which the Lady Knights had two errors.
But in the seventh, it was Notre Dame feasting on miscues.
The Lady Cardinals made three of them, and the Lady Knights mixed in five hits in the frame before Hayli Otto completed the rally with a two-run double to the left-field line that tied the score.
"Finishing is something we've struggled with all season," Hermes said. "I think that's because in district, we don't go a full seven innings. We run-rule, three innings, five innings, and it's tough when you have to go a full seven. ... Hopefully, that's out of our system and we're ready to go tomorrow."
Shiner St. Paul 8, Wichita Falls Notre Dame 7
W: 0000016 - 7 8 3
S:3002021 - 8 10 4
Hayli Otto and Joie Otto; Paige Werner and Kali Kocian; WP: Werner; LP: Otto; Leading hitters - W: Hayli Otto 2-4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Rachel Parkey 2-3, 2B, RBI; S: Alexa Schaefer 2-4; Emily Wagner 2-4, HR, GW 2B, 4 RBIs; Bethany Pokluda 2-3, 2 runs; Kylie Natal 2B
Records: WFND 16-4; SSP 17-7