CARTHAGE -- Jimmy Eby's Lufkin Hudson team has been through quite a bit the past two years on the way to back-to-back Class 3A state titles.

That experience is one of several utilities the 10th-ranked Texas Girls Coaches Association's Class 3A team can lean on, and they did in a 7-2 District 20-3A win against No. 4 Carthage.

Hudson broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth with one swing from catcher Ashley Davis, a 2 RBIs base hit in what turned out to be a 2-for-3 night with 3 RBIs and two more runs sent home by way of a fielding error on her second base hit of the game.

"Clutch," Eby said after the game. "She just did a great job. She's been struggling, so hopefully that gets her out of her little slump. This game, like every game, is about confidence. When you do good and you have confidence in yourself, you can accomplish a lot of things."

The Lady Hornets must have had a little more pep in their step upon return to Lufkin. The all-East Texas district also features No. 3 Huntington plus quality teams in Center, Diboll, Jasper and Pollok Central .

It wasn't as easy as it looked. Carthage pitcher Samantha Clakley made sure of that.

Clakley pitched four innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts to three walks and two hits, and the Lady Dogs used the good defensive start for a 1-0 lead on Ashley Edge's RBI double in the third.

Hudson came up with an answer in the top of the fifth.

Katelyn Hanks walked on a full count with one foul off and then stole second base just before Clakley recorded her ninth of 11 strikeouts.

Hudson's Alyssa Pierce and K.K. Parker strung together back-to-back hits with Parker knocking in Hanks to tie the game.

Two at-bats later, Davis delivered that game-winning hit.

"We had an approach coming into the game because we've seen (Clakley) and know what we have," Eby said. "We made some adjustments during the game. I think it worked. Like I told my bunch here, we've been in big games. We've been in the two biggest games in the State of Texas with the state championship games the past two years. We know how to win, how to come back and fight."

Carthage led off its fifth inning with a base hit, but a double play and a grounder to winning pitcher Adrianna Mosley ended the promise of that particular threat.

Hudson loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and a Davis single to right field -- and Carthage's second error of the inning -- allowed all three Lady Hornets on the bags to come home for a 6-1 advantage.

Carthage's Brooklyn Peace led the bottom sixth off with a double and moved to third on a fielder's choice. Teah Reese batted her in before Mosley recorded back-to-back strikeouts.

Another error from the Lady Dogs in the seventh inning let Hudson's Bailynn Moore cross the plate for the game's final score.

The game ended minutes later on Mosley's fourth strikeout.

"She does a great job," Eby said. "She's not going to blow anybody away, but the ball moves. All we try to do is pitch to location and pitch to contact to try to get the ground balls when we need to. Like I told her, when she misses her spots she gets hit. But, you know what, we have a good defense behind her."

Both teams are still in good early standing for playoff runs.

The Lady Hornets moved to 17-2 and 4-1 in district. Carthage fell to 17-4 and 3-2.

Both schools share a common loss to Huntington.

"Every game is a big game just because it's district," Eby said. "With Huntington being undefeated (in district) and having a great pitcher, you've just got to keep pace with them a little bit. Carthage is a good team. They're a great program. We just got some key hits when we needed to."

Lufkin Hudson 7, Carthage 2

Hudson                   000   033   1   —   7   9  1
Carthage                 001   001   0   —   2   8  3

Pitchers and Catchers
  • Hudson: Adrianna Mosley and Ashley Davis.
  • Carthage: Samantha Clakley and Kacey Maines.

WP — Mosley.
LP — Clakley.

  • Carthage: Ashleigh Edge, Jordyn Morgan.