Second-Ranked Hallsville Caps Dominant Bi-District Series Sweep With 13-1 Rout of Royse City
LINDALE -- The Hallsville Ladycats can hit the ball. Royse City found that out the hard way.
Second-ranked Hallsville put the finishing touches on a dominant bi-district playoff series sweep with a 13-1 defeat of Royse City in five innings in Game 2 of their Class 4A Region II series Friday night.
Hallsville (31-2), which will play the winner between Mansfield Legacy and Corsicana next week in the area round, finished with 30 runs in the two games against Royse City. The Ladycats pounded out 15 hits in just four innings on Friday in the series clincher.
"We had a couple of warm-up games and didn't look very good at the plate, but we had already clinched stuff and were just waiting for the playoffs," said Hallsville coach Pat Eitel. "The kids are on a mission we hope. They came out very focused and we know if we come out focused, we can be a pretty tough team. We kinda had a game plan going in and the kids just came out hitting and it was nice to watch. Thirty runs in two games, I just told my kids 'I can't complain.'"
Hallsville erupted for five runs in the bottom of the first after allowing Royse City to grab a brief 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning. The Ladycats then salted the game away with two runs in the third and six more in the fourth, before Hallsville closed things out with a scoreless top of the fifth.
All nine Hallsville starters registered at least one hit and one run scored. Emma Hawthorn was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs to lead the way. Madison McCoy (2-for-3) and Hannah Mizell (1-for-2) each drove in two runs.
Haille Hollan went 3-for-4 and drove in a run, Julie Ann Rawls was 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored, Nicole Linton doubled and scored twice part of a 2-for-3 night and Raney Bryant had two hits with an RBI and run scored.
A key to Hallsville's success at the plate was the Ladycats' aggressiveness. Hallsville put 10 first pitches of at-bats in play, including four consecutive in the Ladycats' six-run fourth inning.
"We told them not to chase pitches and be selective and they waited on great pitches they could drive, and I think that's where you saw the aggressiveness," Eitel said. "We waited to see it kinda get over the plate and we adjusted to the umpiring. We were hitting like this earlier in the year, and I was getting nervous because you don't know, going into the playoffs. But this group was in the playoffs last year, so they've got a lot of experience."
On the other end, Hollan did her part on the rubber. She didn't throw a no-hitter like teammate Cassidy Ferrill did in Thursday's Game 1, but it was more than good enough to put herself in the winner's circle. The sophomore right-hander allowed a run on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
"Cassidy is more of our power pitcher, but Hailee moves the ball around and kinda keeps you off balance," Eitel said. "We know we're going to have to play defense behind her, and our defense knows that. She's been struggling in the first inning, then she settles down and she's been throwing good balls."
Royse City took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Kaitlyn Johnson, who went 3-for-3 on the evening, doubled and crossed home plate on Kylie Jeffery's RBI single up the middle.
That was it for the Lady Bulldogs, who surrendered five runs in the bottom half of the first to Hallsville. Hollan drove in Rawls, who tripled to lead of the inning, and Hawthorn and Madison McElory each had two-run singles in the inning for a 5-1 lead.
Hallsville stretched its lead to 7-1 in the third when Linton scored on delayed steal of home and Mizell crossed home on a groundout by McElroy.
The Ladycats sent 10 batters to the plate in the six-run fourth inning. Ferrill had a two-run single, McElroy doubled home a run, while Hawthorn, Bryant and Rawls connected for RBI singles in the inning. Hallsville's 10 batters saw a grand total of 20 pitches in the frame.
Hallsville 13, Royse City 1 (5 innings)
Class 4A Region II Bi-District Playoff Series -- Game 2
At Lindale Softball Complex
Royse City 100 00 -- 1 7 1
Hallsville 502 6x -- 13 15 0
Pitchers and catchers
- Royse City: Noea Pizana and Kaylie Torres.
- Hallsville: Hailee Hollan and Emma Hawthorn.
WP -- Hollan.
LP -- Pizana.
- Royse City: Lexi Ruff, Kaitlyn Johnson.
- Hallsville: Nicole Linton, Madison McElroy.
- Hallsville: Julie Ann Rawls.