Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 3, 2013

3A Softball Area: Rusk downs Robinson, 7-6, in 9

Littlejohn surpasses 1000-career strike out mark, drives in winning run

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

FAIRFIELD — Chelsie Daniels scored the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as No. 4 Rusk (25-2) edged the Rockettes, 7-6.

Daniels reached based on an infield error and scored following a Sydney Littlejohn single to right.

The Robinson rightfielder had trouble getting the handle on the ball which allowed Daniels to motor over to third and when the throw in to the infield missed its mark by a long shot Daniels made the move towards the plate.

The Rockettes recovered quickly and forced Daniels into a lenghty run down between home and third.

Daniels scored when a Rockette muffed a throw during the run down.

The game was played on a 43-degree night with a stiff northwest wind blowing in from center field.

To make matters worse, from the third inning on a light-to-moderate drizzle peppered the field.

The unfavorable conditions led to a total of 13 errors in the game, with Robinson's seventh and final miscue being the one that gave the Lady Eagles the win.

Rusk's Sydney Littlejohn allowed six runs on five hits and stuck out 14, which gave her 1001-career strike outs. The mark is also a new school record.

She also led her team at the plate by going 3-for-5, including a double in the fifth inning.

Kelsey Blankinship went 2-for-3 and Rachel Miller had two hits in four trips to the dish.

Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Fairfield. Should a third contest be needed, it will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second game.

The winner of the Rusk-Robinson series will take on either Lorena or Lufkin Hudson in the regional quarterfinal round late next week.