By MITCH LUCAS
The rain beat the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs softball team – and everyone else’s – on Saturday, washing out what was left of the Longview-hosted Lady Lobo Classic.
But coach Cheyenne Kirkpatrick’s team still managed to get in two more games on Friday, then played a make-up game at Palestine on Saturday.
Kilgore is 2-3 on the season so far, and the wins are nice, Kirkpatrick stresses, but getting in good work and playing well at this point is a key factor. Kirkpatrick is driving her program back toward the postseason after a 10-year absence.
The Lady Bulldogs were off Tuesday and today, are in a tournament at White Oak this week. Kilgore gets the early start on Thursday, meeting Ore City at 8 a.m. The Lady ‘Dogs turn around and play again at 10 against Garrison.
They’ll take the remainder of Thursday off, and then play twice on Friday: a 4 p.m. start against Royce City, and an 8 p.m. start against host-team White Oak.
On Saturday, Kilgore meets Quitman at 8 a.m., then Pleasant Grove at noon, all of course, weather-permitting.
Liberty-Eylau 3, Kilgore 2 (Friday): In Kilgore’s first game in the Longview tourney at Lear Park on Friday, the scoreboard read a loss for KHS, but the team, Kirkpatrick said, played well in defeat.
L-E scored first and never trailed, but Kilgore had eight hits, and somewhat frustratingly, stranded nine runners throughout the game.
In the fourth inning, Kristen Wilson led off with a single, and with two out, Miah Thomas drew a walk. Destiney Mendez hit a pop-up that brought Wilson home.
Kilgore scored again in the fifth. Tra’Kaila Graves and Hailee Jo Lewis hit back-to-back singles. Wilson singled to load the bases, and then catcher Elizabeth Idlett scored Graves on a long single.
Wilson took the loss. She struck out two and allowed seven hits.
Kilgore 7, Quitman 3: In the Lady ‘Dogs’ second Friday game, the play translated to a win.
Kilgore scored first – Bailey Downing singled, and then Graves did, as well. Lewis hit a sac fly that scored Downing. Quitman scored twice and took a 2-1 lead, but it didn’t last long.
Mackenzie Harrison singled, and then Mendez followed with another. Downing spoke the loudest with a three-run home run to right-center; she finished with a single, a double and the home run, one triple shy of the cycle. Kilgore led, 4-2.
After Quitman scored a run on an error, Kilgore went back to work. Mendez reached on an error, and Bailey Hedges was hit by a pitch. Downing hit a one-hopper that jumped over the left-field fence, a ground-rule double with 2 RBI. Lewis singled to score Downing for the final tally, 7-3. Also, Janae Moore had a single to left in the game.
Wilson got the win this time. She struck out five.
Palestine 4, Kilgore 3 (Monday): This was a make-up game for the season opener that was originally scheduled Feb. 13.
Miah Thomas had two singles and a double for Kilgore, who played catch-up the whole way after Palestine claimed an early 3-0 lead. Also for KHS, Wilson had two singles, and Graves, Hedges, Idlett and Mendez all each had one. Wilson took the loss, though she still had five strikeouts.