HEATH -- Carthage successfully forced a third and final game in its best-of-three Class 4A Region II championship series with Krum, but it had nothing left in the tank for the meeting at Rockwall-Heath High School.

Krum responded from a 2-1 loss in nine innings Saturday afternoon with a thorough 17-0 victory against the Lady Dawgs in the evening hours. Paired with a 5-0 series-opening win Thursday, Krum advanced to the state level of competition for the first time in its history.

Things turned sour for Carthage (32-9-2) in the decisive third game immediately.

Maddie Goin led the meeting off with a single and advanced to third base on back-to-back fielding errors the next two at-bats. Starting pitcher Tristan Bridges hit a one-out triple for a 3-0 lead, and it only got worse from there.

Krum (37-4) exited the top of the first with an 8-0 advantage on six hits and the two Carthage errors. Another eight runners crossed the plate between the second and third innings.

It was a 17-0 game after Lindsay Buetnagal got home in the fourth.

The game ended after five innings on the mercy rule. The Lady Dawgs needed to get back within nine runs of Krum to extend the game.

Carthage never got close to a run. Bridges, who threw every single inning in all three games for Krum, pitched a one-hit shutout.

The Lady Dawgs were stopped one level away from the state tournament for the second time in three seasons. Unlike the 2015 team, however, this regional championship series loss is not necessarily the end of an era.

Seven starters are expected to return to the squad next season, including primary pitcher Taylor Wills. Just four of the roster's 17 players graduated in ceremonies Friday -- starters Chelcie Pierce and Kaitlynn Earle as well as role players Shaketria Sparks and Jordyn Morgan.

Krum advanced into a state tournament field also consisting of Beeville Jones, Liberty Hill and Vernon.

The UIL will announce state semifinal pairings Sunday, and the two 4A games will be played at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Thursday at Red and Charline McCombs Field on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Winners of the semifinal games will meet in the state championship game, which is scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday at Red and Charline McCombs Field.

Krum 17, Carthage 0

Class 4A Region II Semifinals — Game 3
At Rockwall-Heath High School, Heath

Krum            844    10    —    17    18     0
Carthage      000    00    —    0        1    4

Pitchers and catchers

  • Krum: Tristan Bridges and Morgan Sebastian
  • Carthage: Taylor Wills, Chelcie Pierce (1) and Hope Kruebbe

WP -- Bridges
LP -- Wills

Doubles

  • Krum: Maddie Goin (2), Lindsay Buetnagal, Avery Williams

Triples

  • Krum: Bridges
Carthage's Kaitlynn Earle catches Krum's Morgan Sebastian at third base to complete a 9-5 double play in Game 2 of the 4A regional championship series.

Ninth-Inning Heroics Allow Carthage To Tie Series

The bottom of Carthage's order came up big in extra innings of Game 2 before the squad met its end in the best-of-three series.

Kaitlynn Earle snapped an 0-for-2 performance at the plate with a leadoff infield hit in the top of the ninth. Two outs later, ninth batter Addison Blissett ended her own hitless game with a go-ahead RBI triple to right field.

Taylor Wills gave up a walk to begin the bottom of the ninth, but she knocked down the next three batters to record a seven-hit complete game win on 129 pitches.

Krum owned the lead in Game 2 from the bottom of the first all the way to the top of the sixth. At that point, Chelcie Pierce leveled the score on a solo home run to left field.

Maddie Goin scored Krum's lone run in the game. Lindsay Buetnagal recorded the RBI.

Krum had a golden opportunity for a series sweep in the bottom eighth.

Morgan Sebastian doubled to begin the frame and Tristan Bridges drew a full-count walk immediately afterward to advance Sebastian into scoring position.

Kalli Cuff largely killed the threat with a catch on Regan Smith's fly ball to right field and a throw to Earle at third base to catch Sebastian.

Krum's threat officially ended when the next hitter, Kelsie Roberts, lined out to Earle.

Carthage 2, Krum 1

Class 4A Region II Semifinals — Game 2
At Rockwall-Heath High School, Heath

Carthage           000    001    001    —    2    6    0
Krum                 100    000    000    —    1    7    1

Pitchers and catchers

  • Carthage: Taylor Wills and Hope Kruebbe
  • Krum: Tristan Bridges and Morgan Sebastian

WP -- Wills
LP -- Bridges

Doubles

  • Krum: Bridges, Maddie Goin, Morgan Sebastian

Triples

  • Carthage: Addison Blissett

Home Runs

  • Carthage:  Chelcie Pierce