COLLEGE STATION — Shortstop Malory Schattle had a double, a triple, three RBIs and made two spectacular defensive plays to lead Salado to a 10-3 romp over Woodville on Thursday at the Texas A & M Campus.
The Lady Eagles now lead their best-of-three Class 2A area semifinals series 1-0. Game 2 is 4 p.m. Saturday in College Station.
Game 3, if necessary, would follow.
But if Schattle and teammates Shyenne Hicks and Reagan Best play in Game 2 like they did Thursday — and Salado’s star southpaw Morgan Hill hurls like she did in Game 1 — there won’t be a
Trailing No. 5-ranked Woodville 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Schattle blasted a double to right-center and, two batters later, scored off a Josie Norman single.
In the top of the fifth, with one out, bags loaded and the score tied 3-3, Schattle hit a 185-foot torpedo that hit the left-foot wall — clearing the bases — and slid safely into third for a triple.
“I wasn’t thinking too much before that at-bat,” Schattle said. “I just knew we needed some runs and I simply wanted to hit the ball. It just so happened that I got a hit with the bases loaded and it was a triple. It did feel really good once I connected with it.”
Up 6-3 after the fifth inning, Salado tallied four more times in the sixth and took a 10-3 lead. The key at-bats in the sixth were an RBI grounder from Best and a 2-RBI single from Hicks.
“All the hype and excitement about playing in an atmosphere as exciting as Texas A&M in College Station — and playing in this type of facility — got us fired up,” said Best, who also had a double and single.
Hicks was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.
“We came out here with a lot of energy,” Hicks said. “We kept hitting — from top to bottom.”
Hill and teammate Grace Tauferner each had a single, and Lady Eagle third baseman CeCe Cantu had a double. Salado had 10 hits total.
All the while, Hill was befuddling Woodville. Mixing in her trademark curve with a fiery fastball, Hill struck out eight batters in her complete-game victory.
“Morgan, as per usual, pitched fantastic,” Schattle said. “She was on her game tonight.”
“Considering how good a team we were playing tonight, I’m happy with the way I pitched,” Hill said.
“I felt like I was throwing very hard tonight. Our teamwork was great tonight. Our team played great defense behind me.
“And I have to say Malory was unbelievable at shortstop. I just told her, ‘You had my back tonight.’ Every ball that was hit to her, she made the play.”
In the bottom of the second, Schattle dove to her right, gloved the ball, stayed on her knees, and tossed out Woodville’s Avery Tolar.
For an encore, in the bottom of the fourth, Schattle dove 15 feet to her right to field a grounder, again stayed on her knees and again gunned down the batter at first base.
Schattle’s biggest defensive play was in the third inning. Woodville was ahead 2-1 with runners at first and third. With two outs, Woodville’s Faith Sirmons attempted to steal second. Salado catcher Jenna Calder tossed over to Schattle who was covering second. Then Woodville speedster Katie Watts made a mad dash for home plate. Schattle then delivered a rocket back to Calder — who made an excellent tag and the inning was over.
“I didn’t feel we’d have the play at second base there,” Schattle said.
“So I turned and concentrated on the runner going from third. I had to make that throw because my team needed it. I just happened to make a perfect throw and Jenna made the perfect tag.”
And what about all those diving plays at shortstop?
“Well, I love to get dirty,” Schattle said. “I like diving and making plays. It’s just really fun.”
It should be noted that Salado had no errors in the contest.
“Well, that’s what we want to do again on Saturday — have a game with no errors,” Hill said. “Tonight’s win is nice, but we can’t be content. On Saturday, we have to continue to hit the ball, and continue to field well. We want to try and have another perfect game on Saturday — with no errors and lots of hits.”
Contact Allan Mandell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7566â€‹ and read his blog at KDHPressbox.com