Kristi “Coco” Springer fired a three-hitter and struck out nine to help send Bullard to a 3-2 triumph over Powderly North Lamar in the opening game of a best-of-three Class 3A, Region II area series on Thursday.
The teams are slated to meet back up in Mineola at 11 a.m. today to finish the series.
North Lamar led 2-1 after two complete, but Bullard scored two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the evening.
Nikki Johnson got things started for Bullard by leading led off the decisive inning with a single. Zoe Hancock executed a nice sacrifice bunt that was coupled with a North Lamar throwing error that allowed her to reach safely. The error allowed Johnson to take third and Hancock moved to second.
A groundout scored Johnson while a single by Coco Springer advanced Hancock across the plate. That was all the scoring in the game; however North Lamar missed a golden opportunity in the bottom of the same inning.
Both clubs had somewhat of an off night defensively, as North Lamar committed four errors, while the Lady Panthers made three gaffes.
All of Bullard's runs were associated with Pantherette mistakes in some way.
Springer and Ashleigh Gillard collected two hits and an RBI apiece for the Lady Panthers.
Bullard, the District 19-3A champions, out hit the Pantherettes 6-3.