AUSTIN -- The Garrison Lady Bulldogs defied the odds by reaching the state tournament for a second consecutive season after a jump up in classification.

However, their season came to an end at the same point.

Pilot Point scored four runs in the third inning and took a 5-2 win over Garrison on Wednesday in a Class 2A semifinal at Red & Charline McCombs Field.

Garrison, which reached the state semifinals in 1A last year, ended the season at 23-10.

Garrison’s Bailey Lunsford singles in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Austin. The Lady Bulldogs lost to Pilot Point, 5-2. (Travis Harsch,

“It was a tough journey, they really had to come together as a team to kinda figure out who they were this year because they weren’t the same team as last year," said Garrison coach Stacey Kee. "They knew they had a bunch of challenges, but over the course of the season they came together nicely and started playing really hard and started peaking at the right time. Not a whole lot of teams can step up in classification and still go back to state, so there’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

Pilot Point (39-2-1) will play either Santa Gertrudis Academy or Hawley for the state championship at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Weimar's four-run third began when Garrison committed the second of three errors on the afternoon.

“We knew coming in we had to play error-free ball," Kee said. "That’s what happens at state (when you don't)."

Garrison’s Catherine Heflin delivers to the plate in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Austin. Helfin struck out seven in six innings in a 5-2 loss to Pilot Point. (Travis Harsch,

Natalie Larson began the third by reaching first when Garrison shortstop Kaily Cox mishandled her grounder. Larson was then erased on a force play, and left the game after being injured on the play.

Pilot Point loaded the bases with one out when Allison Strittmatter was hit by a Catherine Heflin pitch for a 1-0 lead. Sierra Brooks followed with a sacrifice fly RBI, and Lori Campbell delivered a two-run single to center to give Pilot Point a commanding four-run lead.

Heflin suffered the loss. She allowed five runs -- only one of which was earned -- on five hits, and struck out seven in six innings.

Pilot Point pitcher Skylar Cagle moved to 27-0 on the year. She allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Breann Colle got Garrison on the board with an RBI single in the fifth, and Cox's run-scoring single in the sixth cut the deficit to 4-2.

“They’re never going to quit on me," Kee said. "We were down (in the regional final) against Crawford and we’ve been down in a lot of games, but we just keep rallying back. Unfortunately in this game we couldn’t do that, but they don’t have ‘die’ in their hearts; they’re always going to keep fighting.”


Pilot Point 5, Garrison 2

Class 2A Semifinal

Red & Charline McCombs FIeld, Austin

Garrison           000    011    0    --    2    5    3
Pilot Point         004    001    x    --    5    5    2

Garrison: Catherine Heflin and Breann Colle. Pilot Point: Skylar Cagle and Xena Barbour.

WP -- Cagle (27-0).
LP -- Heflin (23-9).

2B -- Pilot Point: Cagle.

Records -- Garrison: 23-10. Pilot Point: 39-2-1.

Attendance -- 467.

Garrison lines up to shake hands following a 5-2 loss to Pilot Point in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Austin. (Travis Harsch,