Lady Panthers crush Giddings, go 4-0-1 in LH Round Robin
By KEITH SPARKS
The Liberty Hill varsity softball team now holds a 6-0-1 record after beating Giddings by a final score of 8-4 on Tuesday night and winning four games in their round robin tournament last weekend.
The Lady Panthers jumped out to an early 6-2 lead against Giddings on Tuesday, scoring four runs in the first inning and two in the second. Liberty Hill scored two more runs, one in the fourth inning and one in the sixth, to put the Buffaloes away for good.
Sam Barnett finished with a home run and two RBIs for the Panthers, Kinsey Kuhlmann finished with a home run, a double, a single, and four RBIs, and Jessika Truax finished with a triple and an RBI.
After struggling a bit offensively in their first game of the season, the Lady Panthers have gotten hot at the plate, hitting home runs in five of their last six games.
“We’ve made some good adjustments at the plate,” said Head Coach Charice Hankins, “and we’re putting the bat on the ball pretty well. We’re putting together some good at-bats.”
The one thing her team hasn’t done particularly well thus far, according to Coach Hankins, is finish games with the same focus and intensity they’ve started with.
“I think the one thing we need to work on is staying focused for seven innings,” Hankins said. “Sometimes we get ahead, and then we start getting a little bit lax and not as focused and not as sharp. We need to finish games. We need to start hard and finish hard, and not have that lull, if you will.”
Amber Wiggins got the win for the Panthers on the mound on Tuesday, finishing with seven strikeouts in five innings. Abby Covington pitched the final two innings and finished with two strikeouts.
The Lady Panthers hosted the Liberty Hill Varsity Round Robin tournament over the weekend, going 4-0-1 with wins against Marble Falls, Abilene, Wimberley, Georgetown, and a tie against West.
In their first game against Marble Falls on Thursday, Feb. 16, Liberty Hill won by a final score of 4-2. Offensively, the Panthers were led by Barnett and Joely Williamson, who each hit a home run in the game. Ashton Dirner, Ashley Gatlin, and Covington each hit singles in the game, while Carissa Garza hit two. Barnett finished with two RBIs, and Williamson and Truax each finished with one.
Wiggins pitched the first four innings for Liberty Hill against Marble Falls, finishing with seven strikeouts. Covington pitched the final two innings and finished with one strikeout.
The Panthers won game two against Abilene High School last Thursday, as well, by a final score of 7-0. Williamson finished the game with a home run and two singles, Barnett hit a double, while Garza, Truax, Gatlin, Wiggins and Logan Oehler each finished with a single. Garza, Barnett, and Truax each finished with an RBI, while Williamson and Gatlin finished with two each.
Wiggins pitched game two for the Panthers, as well, this time pitching a complete game and finishing with nine strikeouts in a shutout victory.
Liberty Hill beat Wimberley 5-4 in their third game of the tournament last Friday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh for a walkoff victory off of a double by Barnett that brought in the game-winning RBI. Garza and Truax each hit a home run in the game. Truax’s two-run shot tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Barnett, Williamson, and Oehler each hit doubles, and Garza hit a single. Truax finished the game with two RBIs, while Garza and Barnett each had one.
Covington pitched the first four innings for the Panthers against Wimberley, finishing with two strikeouts. Wiggins pitched the last three and finished with two strikeouts, as well.
Game four against West last Friday, the defending AAA state champions, ended in a 6-6 tie, as Liberty Hill was able to knot the game up with a game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Barnett hit two home runs in the contest, and Gatlin hit one, as well. Kuhlmann hit three singles for the Panthers, while Oehler hit one. Williamson hit a double, and Garza finished with a triple and a single.
The Panthers beat Georgetown in game five on Saturday by a final score of 5-2. Garza hit a triple and two singles, Barnett hit two doubles and a single, Williamson hit two singles, Truax hit two singles, and Kuhlmann and Oehler each finished with one single. Barnett also finished with two RBIs, while Garza, Williamson, and Sargent each finished with one.
The Lady Panthers will look to improve upon their 6-0-1 record this weekend in the Round Rock Invitational, followed by a home game against Brownwood next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.