CARTHAGE -- Carson Robertson watched the ball fly over the fence in center field as the crowd cheered.

Robertson jogged around the bases and back to the dugout to meet her teammates. Carthage knew the game was in its control. That home run in the fourth inning proved to be the dagger, as Carthage defeated Rusk, 10-1, on Tuesday.

That home run, though pivotal, was only the beginning for Robertson.

She sent another ball to almost the same spot in the sixth inning, driving in three more runs. They were her only hits of the day as she finished 2-for-4 with a team-high five RBIs.

"This weekend we played in West Texas and the wind was blowing hard," Rob McFall said. "We had about four different people hit home runs. She comes in Saturday and the win is blowing about 40 miles per hour and she hit two shots to the fence (that didn't go over). As long as Carson does what she needs to do, she's going to hit the ball well. Sometimes she gets a little overanxious and tried a little too hard.

"But as long as she stays focus and stays within herself, she'll do that all season."

Robertson didn't do it alone, though. Kayman Courtney and Addison Blissett, at the top and bottom, respectively, of Carthage's lineup, combined to go 5-for-5 and score seven of the Lady Bulldogs' 10 runs.

Although the offense finished the game strong, with more than half of its runs coming in the final three innings, the defense set the tone.

Taylor Wills pitched a full game for the Lady Bulldogs (20-4, 2-0 District 16-4A). She threw a no-hitter through four innings before giving up a double to Preslye Cox in the fifth. Cox scored quickly after reaching base when Joy Bradley reached second via an error.

It was the only run Carthage allowed Rusk (11-9-2, 1-1). Wills held the Lady Eagles to just two hits, while notching 10 strikeouts.

"She missed her spot (on the double)," McFall said. "The other hit we misjudged. But that's going to happen sometimes. I was really happy with our infield. We made the plays and the throws and we adjusted. Taylor got her focus back and started hitting her spots. When she does that, she's tough."

Although six district games remain, the victory could go a long way in determining the standings at the end of the season. Carthage and Rusk were pegged to finish near the top at the beginning of the season.

The Lady Bulldogs will look to stay undefeated as they next face Tatum at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Tatum. Meanwhile, Rusk will try to bounce back at 6 p.m. Friday against Center.

"We're going to celebrate this one tonight and then it's over," McFall said. "(Rusk isn't) going to be happy. They're gonna be ready to play the next time we play. Everyone else now is going to give us their best game. They're going to come after us and we've got to be ready for that every game."

Carthage 10, Rusk 1

District 16-4A
At Carthage

Rusk             000      010     0    --      1      2      3
Carthage       103     303       --     10    9     1

Pitchers and catchers

  • Rusk: Preslye Cox and Lauren Boudreaux
  • Carthage: Taylor Wills and Hope Kruebbe

WP -- Wills
LP -- Cox

Doubles

  • Rusk: Grace Young, Preslye Cox.

Triples

  • Carthage: Kayman Courtney

Home runs

  • Carthage: Carson Robertson (2).