GRAND SALINE —
As Bullard head softball coach Pamela Chestnut put it, “it was just Coco being Coco.”
Meaning, senior pitcher Coco Springer threw a two-hitter, with 13 strikeouts, and went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead Bullard to a 3-1 win over Athens in Game One in a Class 3A, best-of-three Class 3A, Region II series at Lady Indian Field in Grand Saline on Friday night.
Springer’s second single started the second inning for the Lady Panthers (21-4). One batter later, her battery-mate Sarah Ritch pounded the left center field wall with an RBI-double.
“Our first run when Sarah (Wakefield) scored, Hana Woyt did a good job of hitting behind the runner to move her over, and Sarah’s speed paid off with two passed balls,” Chestnut recapped the early lead. “Then after Coco started us off, Bean (Sarah Ritch) had the huge double for us, and if you give Coco a two-run lead, she relaxes and just does her thing.”
Springer however was not so pleased with her 13 strikeouts, and more aggravated with her play.
“I had too many walks, and missed an opportunity at the plate late but, we got the win,” Springer said after the game. “I was really pumped about pitching in the playoffs and I know that the defense behind me has been making the plays all year, so I can’t wait to play tomorrow.”
Bullard took a 3-0 lead after Woyt reached on an error, and scored on an RBI-single from freshman vacuum cleaner at shortstop, Zoe Hancock. The Lady Hornets helped out with three miscues in the inning and an unearned run.
The Lady Hornets (13-11-1) avoided the shutout, scoring on the Lady Panthers second error of the game at third base on an overthrow to plate the run in the bottom of the fifth stanza.
Krystal Davis had the first hit for Athens in the fourth inning, before Haley Durden’s, one-out single turned into the lone run.
Springer, a Texas Women’s University-signee, had two hits, and Ritch added the double while Wakefield, Baylee Taylor and Zoe Hancock accounted for the Bullard hits.
Bullard (21-4), hopes to end the series early with Game Two set for noon today in Grand Saline.