By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
COLLEGE STATION - Kady Crow wasn't ready for her Lampasas career to end.
Unfortunately for the Lady Badger senior ace, she didn't have the opportunity to save the day twice.
After tripling to start a two-run seventh-inning rally to force extra innings, Crow stood helplessly in the on-deck circle as fellow senior Tealey Farquhar's slap to left failed to hit the grass and Lampasas fell to West Columbia Columbia 9-6 in eight innings in their single-game Region IV-3A semfinal Friday evening at A&M Consolidated High School.
Columbia advanced to play the winner between Liberty Hill and Sweeny.
Liberty Hill, the 25-3A champions, won Game 1 2-1 in eight innings Friday.
After beginning a rally with the first of back-to-back triples to open the bottom of the seventh, as the Lady Badgers rallied back from a 5-0 deficit after the top of the first, Crow couldn't keep the Lady Roughneck bats in check another half-inning.
Columbia took advantage of an inning-opening error by Lampasas left fielder Alex Caruthers and pulled ahead 9-6 with three runs in the top of the eighth. Cally Newsom started things off by pushing a one-out single past Lady Badgers senior Hadley Brown at short, who was cheating in, to score Kimber Stifflemire from third for the go-ahead run. After a flyout to center, No. 3 hitter Malnesha Burton doubled to left to score Newsome and Tiffany Marshall tripled over the head of Farquhar in center.
Unable to find the strike zone early, Crow walked the first two Lady Roughneck batters before a liner skipped past Brown, allowing Newsome to score the game's first run. A pair of RBI singles scored two more Columbia runs before Stifflemire sent a slow dribbler to short that Maldonado attempted to cut off, but inadvertently blocked Brown's view as the ball rolled into shallow left field, allowing two runs for an early 5-0 lead.
Lampasas answered right away when Farquhar singled to left and scored when a single by Crow (3-for-4, 3 runs) richocheted off the knee of Columbia left fielder Madelyn Clark into right-center field. Reaching second on the play, Crow moved to third on a sacrifice by Brown and scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2 after the first inning.
The Lady Badgers added two more in the third when Crow doubled to start the inning and scored on a shot up the middle by cleanup hitter Hailey Morrison, who ended up scoring on the play when the ball rolled through the legs of Newsome in center to make it 5-4.
Columbia added an insurance run in the sixth when Burton singled to left to score Stifflemire from third, but the inning ended when Caruthers threw out Kayla Herrera at home on a bang-bang play.
Trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the seventh, Crow sent the first pitch she saw to the center field wall for a triple. Brown did her one better, tripling herself to score Crow and then came home for the game-tying run on an sacrifice by Morrison (2-for-3, 2 RBIs). But that was all the offense the Lady Badgers could muster as Columbia reliever Ally Autry came in and sent down the next five Lampasas batters.