‘Cats rally after loss to the Bulldogs, game three postponed rain delay

Chase Whittaker, Sports Editor

After a hard-fought game yesterday, the fifth-ranked Wildcats found it in them to rally a win over the Bulldogs from Texas Lutheran University. The Wildcats started off the game slower than they would have wished after trailing behind the Bulldogs 0-1 for two innings.

Freshman Abi Profitt changed that very quickly in the bottom of the second inning with a double to right-center field. She would soon score off a shallow single from junior Chelsea Horita.

In the fourth inning, senior Darian Stedman and junior Makenna Clizer got on base for the ‘Cats with back-to-back singles, allowing the big bats of junior Kamryn Apling and junior Kelsey Wilkinson to drive in four runs bringing the ‘Cats back on top of the Bulldogs 5-2.

Things turned around for the Bulldogs in the sixth inning- back to back home runs giving them their second lead of the game at 6-5. It wasn’t looking any better for the Wildcats as they had runners on second and third base and only one out. Outfielder, Stedman made a diving catch to save a run for the Wildcats keeping their Super-Regional hopes alive.

After a nail-biting six innings, the ‘Cats had a pair of runners aboard and one of their most reliable hitters up to bat, Horita. Head Coach Jackson Vaughn pulled a trick out of his sleeve, a squeeze bunt down the first-base line- this allowed pinch runner, sophomore Alanna Nuttman to score and give the ‘Cats the lead once more. Shortly after that, senior Paige Smotherman hit a line drive towards shallow right field adding two more runs to the ‘Cats’ total putting them ahead 9-6.

Another inning of great pitching and defense from sophomore Madison Podnar and the Wildcats helped them secure Game two against the Bulldogs.

The Wildcats had another slow start to Game 3, trailing quickly to TLU 0-1 in the fourth inning. Things changed once again when Horita stepped up the plate and drove the ball into left-center field and brought in two runs for the ‘Cats.

More excellent pitching from senior Shelby Saylors, who only allowed four hits through five innings and giving up two earned runs. On top of pitching, some excellent defense was played by the Wildcats, especially from junior Maddy Colson who made a leaping catch against the fence to steal a home run from the Bulldogs.

The hits were rolling in for the ‘Cats, but so were the rain clouds. During the fifth inning, the wind and rain began to pick up to the point where the umpires made the decision to postpone the game until tomorrow.

Game three will resume in the fifth inning with a score of 2-2 tomorrow morning at Del Smith Field in a Winner-Takes-All match. With National Championship berth on the line, the Wildcats hope to improve their Super-Regional record to 72-31.