LAMPASAS — Salado head coach Kory Craddick admitted that winning on the road is a very tough thing to do in District 19-4A.
However, the Lady Eagles showed no mercy, as one of Class 4A’s top teams banged out 10 hits in route to a crucial 6-2 win Friday.
The Lady Eagles got a complete game from pitcher Bailey Tindell.
“We have been fighting the flu and strep bugs a lot lately, and she’s one of them who has been sick,” Craddick said. “She’s starting to come back from that. She’s battling back from ACL surgery last year, and did fantastic today.
“She really battled and was around the zone all the time. Everything Lampasas did, they had to earn,” Craddick said.
With the threat of rain in the forecast, Friday’s game was moved up to the afternoon to beat the weather.
Salado (18-3, 2-0) started things early with a two-out rally in the top of the first.
Jenna Calder lined a double to center, and advanced to third on the throw. Chris Wilson and Rebecca Dockray were hit by pitches, bringing up six-hole hitter Marissa Gonzalez.
Gonzalez ripped a hard smash to center, which brought home two runs for the early lead.
After Tindell retired six of the first eight Lady Badgers, the offense was back at it in the third.
Calder added a solo home run to center, then with runners on second and third, Elizabeth Ford laid down a perfectly placed squeeze bunt to bring home Wilson.
Regina Dean and Abbie James both walked with two outs, then lead-off hitter Piper Randolph singled home another run to send the Lady Eagles out to a 5-0 lead.
All game long, Lampasas (10-4, 1-1) made Tindell work, and did not make things easy for her.
Only one inning did she retire the side in order.
The Lady Badgers finally manufactured a run in the home half of the fifth when pitcher Collyn Schuricht singled up the middle. The next two hitters were retired on ground outs when Kyndal Moyer laced a single to short, just by the Salado shortstop, which scored Schuricht.
On the afternoon, Lampasas used both Cally Reding and Schuricht. Schuricht gave the Lady Badgers five quality innings in relief of Reding and impressed head coach Drew Cleavinger.
“It makes a difference when your pitches are placed where they are supposed to be, and I told my girls several times that we aren’t those strikeout pitchers, and that’s OK.
“She did a great job. She came in and picked it up for us, and I can’t ask for much more.”
In the top half of the seventh, Salado picked up another insurance run on a Dockery single to right. Dockery finished the game 2-for-2 and reached base all four times to the plate.
Lampasas had a chance in the final inning when the Lady Badgers loaded the bases with no outs.
Kloe Corbin delivered a bases- loaded walk, which brought home Moyer. Then, Tindell managed to retire the next three Lampasas hitters to end the threat and give the Lady Eagles the road victory.
“With us being so young, I’m going to keep preaching to them just like their parents do, and tell them the sky is the limit for these girls,” Craddick said.
Despite the loss, Cleavinger liked the way her girls battled all game long, and never gave up.
“If we show up, when we show up, we are solid. Top to bottom there is no easy outs for us. It’s been a long season, we have only had one home game, and been in three tournaments already, so it’s been a long preseason.
“When we are healthy and have a lot of rest, we look good.”
Lampasas centerfielder Blakeli Brookreson reached base three times by singling and drawing a pair of walks.
Salado returns to action Thursday, hosting Leander Glenn, while Lampasas travels to Llano on Tuesday.