Errors and a tough schedule have been a bear for Kilgore High School softball this season, but the Lady Bulldogs – who have made the playoffs the last two years and had their first 17-win season of more than a decade just last year – still have time to overcome it and make a run for a third straight playoff season.
Playing in a tournament at Elysian Fields over the weekend, Kilgore got a good win over Pine Tree, lost two games, and then earned a tie with a good Atlanta team in the tournament finale.
The Lady Bulldogs, coached by Cheyenne Kirkpatrick, are on spring break for much of this week, but they do host Mabank on Thursday, a 1 p.m. junior varsity start (varsity to follow) on Thursday at Stream-Flo Field, right beside Driller Park off Commerce Street.
That’s also First Responders Day at the park, and there will be some special guests throwing out the first pitch.
Next week, Kilgore will begin District 16-4A play, and both games are on the road. They’ll play at Spring Hill on Tuesday, March 17, then at Bullard on Friday – both nights start with a JV game at 5 p.m.
Kilgore 12, Pine Tree 4 (Friday): Kilgore pitcher Kristen Wilson only allowed four hits in this one, against an old former district rival. She had two strikeouts.
At the plate, Kilgore really had a good day.
In first inning, with two outs, Bailey Hedges singled, Wilson walked, and then Alyssa Whitington hit a double that scored Hedges. Mackenzie Cooper-Jones ran for Wilson, and scored on a single by Cailey Brown, and that also scored Whitington for a 3-0 lead.
PT answered with a run, but Kilgore added three more in the second inning, five in the third, and one in the fourth.
Jaycie Villanueva had a single with an RBI, as did Genna Cavanaugh had the same. Hedges finished with two singles and a sac fly RBI. Wilson had a single and a double, and 2 RBI. Whitington finished 3-for-3, with two doubles, a single and 3 RBI. Brown had the 2-RBI single, and Diamond Smith had a single, walked and scored twice.
Freshman Kaitlyn Porter, who started at second base, drew two walks, and Jada Dennis was walked, hit by a pitch and reached on an error, and scored twice.
Pleasant Grove 22, Kilgore 3 (Friday): Right after the win over Pine Tree, KHS Pleasant Grove, and in spite of a good start, things went south. PG scored two in the first inning. Kilgore had an error, then allowed a double.
KHS bounced back. Cavanaugh had a single and Wilson walked (Cooper ran). Whitington hit her first career home run, and gave Kilgore the lead, 3-2.
The floodgates opened after that, though, with PG plating eight in the second inning and cruising to a win.
Porter continued to play well at second, making a couple of good defensive plays, Kirkpatrick said.
Marshall 10, Kilgore 2 (Saturday): In this Saturday morning game, the Lady Mavericks – another one of Kilgore’s old 4A district rivals – jumped out to a 4-0 lead on four Kilgore errors in the first inning.
Kilgore had one on in first and in second, but stranded them. Marshall added two more in the second.
Whitington got a lead-off walk, and then scored on an RBI single by Hedges. Wilson singled, Miah Thomas walked, and then Villanueva scored Hedges on a single.
Hedges had two singles and an RBI. Wilson had a single; Villanueva had a single and a hit by pitch, and Porter reached on two walks, as did Whitington.
Kilgore 5, Atlanta 5 (Saturday): Atlanta had beaten Kilgore in the Carthage tournament, 7-0, and has been a surprise so far this season. This time, though, they got a good game from the Lady Bulldogs.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead, but Wilson hit a solo home run to lead off the second inning. Thomas walked. With two outs, Dennis laid down a bunt, but on the throw to first, she beat it out, and Thomas went all the way home on the play and put Kilgore in front, 2-1.
Atlanta tied it at 2-all in the third.
Hedges had a double for KHS in that inning, but was left on base.
In the fourth, Villanueva had a single, Brown had a sac bunt, and Dennis singled, scoring Villanueva to make it 3-2 Kilgore.
Atlanta tied it again in the fifth.
In the sixth, Dennis had a bunt single and stole second base. Porter walked, and Whitington bunted. She reached, but Dennis was thrown out rounding third.
With runners on first and second, Cavanaugh laid down a bunt to move the runners up – and Hedges followed with a 2-RBI single, putting Kilgore in front once more, 5-3.
Atlanta had back-to-back-to-back hits in the next inning, and got a sac fly, as well, and tied the game at 5-all before time expired.
Wilson had three strikeouts in the contest, and only allowed four hits.
Hedges had the double and single, and 2 RBI; Whitington had the bunt single and was hit by a pitch. Cavanaugh had a single. Wilson had the solo home run and drew a walk in another at-bat. Thomas had two walks. Villanueva had a single, and Dennis had three, and 2 RBI. Porter reached twice on catcher’s interference and walked.