WACO — The Salado Lady Eagles suffered an 11-3 loss to the Lady Pirates in Game 2 of the best-of-three Class 2A Region III championship series Friday night at Midway High School.
Salado (32-8) — still one win away from its first-ever trip to the state tournament after taking the series opener 8-6 Thursday — will try to win the series against top-ranked Crawford (32-1) in the rubber match at 4 p.m. today at Midway.
The Lady Pirates scored nine of their 11 runs in the second and third innings, including four unearned runs during a five-run second inning that gave Crawford a 6-2 advantage.
“It’s just one of those nights that it didn’t go our way,” Salado head coach Kory Craddick said. “A lot of that has to do with Crawford. Crawford is a dang good team. They played well. They came out ready to play us.
“We’ve just got to go back and regroup and come back out and have a little fun tomorrow. We didn’t have fun today.”
Crawford’s Cheyenne Lynch tied the game at 2-2 when she scored from third on Bailey Murphy’s infield RBI grounder.
“I could tell how mad they were whenever they got back last night,” Crawford head coach Kirk Allen said about the loss in Game 1. “It was going to take a pretty big effort for them to beat us tonight.
“(Game 3) is a different story. It’s a brand new day and a brand new game. We’ve got to have the same attitude tomorrow as we did today.”
Crawford loaded the bases with three straight singles to open the third. Morgan Groppe hit a three-run homer to left field to make it 10-2.
After the Lady Pirates tacked on another unearned run in the fifth, Lady Eagles designated player Grace Tauferner made it 11-3 with a two-out, RBI double in the sixth.
“We need to come out tomorrow and be strong,” Salado’s Shyenne Hicks said. “We need to be more confident at the plate and play our game. I think we came out here thinking they were just going to give it to us and they were going to come out here and just play.”
Crawford jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, before Morgan Hill tied it on a solo homer in the bottom of the inning. Malory Schattle later scored from second when Josie Norman’s single to left field was misplayed by Logan Lacina, giving Salado a 2-1 advantage.
Schattle was 2 for 4 with a double and Tauferner was 2 for 3 with two doubles, accounting for four of the Lady Eagles’ seven hits against Korie Dutschmann (14-0).
REGION III-2A CHAMPIONSHIP (Best-of-three)
- Game 1 — Salado 8, Crawford 6
- Game 2 — Crawford 11, Salado 3, series tied 1-1
- Game 3 — Today, 4 p.m., at Waco Midway HS