Lady Panthers’ comeback keeps title hope alive

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Kinsey Kuhlmann looks for the umpire’s call after beating the Lampasas runner to base, while outfielder Jenna Kieschnick looks on. The Lady Panthers kept their district title hopes alive by beating Lampasas Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

Kinsey Kuhlmann looks for the umpire’s call after beating the Lampasas runner to base, while outfielder Jenna Kieschnick looks on. The Lady Panthers kept their district title hopes alive by beating Lampasas Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

By LAUREN JETTE

Just when it seemed that Lampasas had turned the tables and was going to escape Liberty Hill with a win Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers reignited their offense and fought back to take the 8-6 win on Senior Night.

“That was good, that was good. We did expect them to try and spoil our win,” said head coach Charice Hankins.

“We knew when we beat them (Saturday), when you beat a team like that, they’re going to come back in and they are going to try to make you think that was a fluke. And they came out and hit the ball hard.”

Now the Lady Panthers will head to Burnet Friday, needing a win to claim a piece of the district championship. The Lady Dawgs took the first win at Liberty Hill April 5, 6-4.

The Lady Badgers put a run on the board early in the first inning, but a home run by Joely Williamson put three runs up for Liberty Hill.

Lampasas responded with a triple to start the third inning, and scored on a bunt. Another hit scored the tying run for the Lady Badgers.

In the fifth inning, Lampasas took the lead after scoring three more runs. Williamson and Haylee Park got on base before a single from Browder brought Williamson home to cut the score to 6-4.

With Liberty Hill still down and unable to shut down Lampasas’ bats, Nicole Thiem took the mound and struck out two and got the out at first to give the Lady Panthers a chance.

Jenna Kieschnick walked, then Kinsey Kuhlmann hit a single down the left line, and Sam Barnett followed with a single to load the bases. A hit from Williamson scored Kieschnick to bring Liberty Hill within one score of Lampasas.

Jessica Truax hit a single to second base to send the tying run home.

A single from Makinley Browder send Barnett home and gave the lead back to the Lady Panthers. Kandyn Faurie followed that up with another hit to score Truax.

Liberty Hill got three straight outs in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.

“I was proud of my kids and I’m glad that they fought back,” Hankins said.

“That’s a good thing to have at this time of year, to go into a game that you think you’re going to win or that you should win and then you get behind, it showed what your kids are made out of. When your back’s against the wall, what are you going to do? And they did it. I’m proud of them, it was hard.”

Stats from the game: Kuhlmann 2 singles, RBI, 1 run scored; Barnett single, double, 2 runs scored; Williamson single, home run, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored; Truax single, RBI, 1 run scored; Haylee Park single; Browder 3 singles, 2 RBI, Faurie 2 singles, 1 RBI; Megan Huppee 2 singles, 1 double, 1 run scored; Kieschnick 1 run scored.

Katelyn Sullivan pitched the first three innings with 2 strike outs and gave up 3 runs; Amber Wiggins pitched the fourth and fifth innings with 3 strike outs and 3 runs; Thiem came in and shut Lampasas down in the final two innings and faced six batter and recorded 2 strike outs, and did not give up a hit or a run.

On Saturday, Liberty Hill defeated the Lady Badgers in Lampasas 12-3 in a make-up game after the first district matchup was cancelled due to rain.

The Lady Panthers jumped on the board with three runs in the first and second inning and added two and three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings respectively, and put up one final run in the final inning.

Stats from the game: Kuhlmann 2 singles, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 4 runs scored; Barnett 1 single, 3 home runs; 5 RBI, 4 runs scored; Williamson double, home run, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored; Truax double, RBI; Park 2 singles; Browder single; Faurie double; Huppee triple, 2 runs scored; Sullivan 1 run scored.

Amber Wiggins pitched all seven innings for the win with 6 strike outs, to improve to 6–3.

Hosting the Salado Lady Eagles Friday, the Lady Panthers scored the 7-1 win. Salado tied the game at one-run in the second, before Liberty Hill’s offense put the game out of reach in the sixth inning with three runs.

Stats from the win: Williamson double, 2 runs scored; Truax single, RBI, run scored; Park 2 singles, RBI, run scored; Browder 2 singles, runs scored; Faurie single, RBI; Huppee single, RBI, run scored; Keischnick RBI; Sullivan single, run scored.

Thiem got the win with 15 strike outs.

Varsity will take on Burnet Friday at 6:45 p.m.

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