Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

June 2, 2014

Aledo blitz secures second softball title

Ladycats put up 10 in first three frames and cruise to Class 4A championship


AUSTIN — The heat was formidable at University of Texas’ Red & Charline McCombs Field Saturday afternoon, but it paled in comparison to the Aledo hitters in the opening three innings of the Ladycats Class 4A State Softball Championship game against the Ennis Lady Lions.

As they had done on Friday, the Ladycats again got on the board early in the title match but, unlike the semifinal, Aledo hitters kept at it, scoring crooked numbers in each of the first three innings.

With Aledo’s solid defense shutting down a resurgent Ennis offense in the middle innings, any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Aledo won the 2014 softball championship, 10-3.

Aledo second baseman Rhylie Makawe did much more than just stroke a team-leading three hits. The junior was also a defensive stalwart for the Ladycats, and for her efforts was named the Championship Game’s Most Valuable Player.

Three other Ladycats had multiple hits, including Riley Sartain, who was credited with two triples. After eight hits in the semifinal, Aledo collected an even dozen in the title game. Aledo head coach Jeff Lemons was hardly surprised by the hitting clinic displayed by the Ladycats.  

“In the last two batting practices we had prior to coming down here, it was kind of scary throwing to these girls,” said Aledo head coach Jeff Lemons. “It was the most phenomenal thing I’ve seen in my five years at Aledo. The girls were so focused and were driving the ball so hard.”

And while enjoying the offensive surge, the Aledo defense has been a apt compliment to pitcher Lauren Craine’s control and consistency.

“I know I [kind of downplay] how good we are on defense,” Lemons said. “But have you ever seen a better defense than those girls have played?

“[Lauren] knows she doesn’t have to be perfect. All she has to do is throw strikes.”

In Friday’s state semifinal, a single by Buda Hays’ leadoff hitter on the game’s first pitch was not an indication of early fortunes. After holding the Lady Rebels scoreless in the top half, Sartain hit a base-clearing double in the first inning, giving Aledo a lead it would hold until the sixth, the frame in which most of the drama of the contest was compressed.

Between the first and sixth, Aledo’s Craine and Hays’ Sarah Leal enjoyed a pitcher’s duel, backed by solid defensive play. Each team scored a single run during the four-frame span.

Karina Rocha’s 2-run homer capped the scoring for Hays in the top of the sixth, with the Lady Rebels scoring four to take a 5-4 lead over Aledo.

But Aledo, who was man-handled by Hays in last year’s semifinal, remained composed and came answering back. Senior Megan Mason led the charge with a leadoff double. After suffering the wrath of Sartain’s bat in the first, Hays opted to issue a free pass, but Kadyn Kirkpatrick made the Lady Rebels’ decision pay. Her hard grounder single scored Mary Myers, who was inserted to run for Mason.

The winning run came on a throwing error, when the Hays catcher tried a misdirection throw on a steal. Sartain, who was perched on third, took advantage of the miscue and charged home.

The title is Aledo’s second in three trips to the state softball tournament.

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