PFLUGERVILLE — It felt like an uphill battle to Drew Cleavinger.
After losing the opener of its bi-district series against Caldwell by five runs, 15-10, Thursday, Lampasas was looking to extend its season in Game 2.
Almost immediately, however, the Lady Badgers were battling adversity.
Despite collecting four hits and posting two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning, Lampasas trailed 6-2 going into the second inning, where things only worsened.
The Lady Hornets posted three more runs, Lady Badgers left fielder Natalie Denoso injured her leg attempting to make a catch, and Lampasas never completely recovered, losing 12-6.
Following the season-ending defeat, the Lady Badgers’ head coach admitted feeling like fate was simply not in her team’s favor.
“We just couldn’t get anything to go for us,” Cleavinger said, “from Natalie not being with us Thursday (due to the regional track and field meet) to her getting hurt and everything in between.
“It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Early on, it seemed Lampasas was poised to even the series, though.
Lady Badgers center fielder Kyndal Moyer opened the game with a single, and teammate Monica Garza followed with a hit to left field. In the next at-bat, senior shortstop Sloane Johnson’s sacrifice fly sent Moyer across home plate before Cally Reding’s RBI single extended Lampasas’ lead to 2-0.
But the Lady Hornets had an answer.
Caldwell responded by getting every batter in its lineup on base in the bottom of the first inning, resulting in six runs and a Lampasas pitching change as Reding replaced starter Collyn Schuricht.
Then, after the Lady Badgers (16-8) went three up and three down in the second inning, the Lady Hornets added to their advantage thanks in part to a two-run, inside-the-park home run on the play Denoso was injured.
“You always hate to see someone get hurt,” Cleavinger said, “but I thought the girls all picked it up and starting rallying around her.”
Moyer led off the third inning with another single, and Lampasas’ first three batters all scored to trim the deficit to four runs, 9-5, but the Lady Badgers would not get any closer.
Caldwell (20-5) added another run in the bottom of the third inning and two more in the fifth inning before Lady Badgers third baseman Edgar Brook’s RBI sending Kamri Corbin across home plate capped off Lampasas’ scoring in the sixth inning.
“I thought we were playing pretty well,” Cleavinger said, “but toward the end, we just couldn’t get the ball rolling.”
Although it was a disappointing way to finish the year, Cleavinger believes the season was a success.
“We had a great season,” she said. “This is a good team with some really good kids, who work hard. They had a lot of fight in them, and it just felt like doors kept closing on us, but we would find a way to make things work.
“Things just didn’t go our way in this series.”
SATURDAY'S SOFTBALL SCORES
Class 6A bi-district
- Duncanville 3, Copperas Cove 0, Duncanville wins series 2-0
Class 4A bi-district
- Caldwell 12, Lampasas 6, Caldwell wins series 2-0
- Salado 14, Navasota 1, Salado wins series 2-0
Class 3A bi-district
- Natalia 6, Florence 1, Natalia wins series 2-0