LHHS softball beats Glenn, goes undefeated in Seguin Tournament

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By KEITH SPARKS

The Lady Panthers’ varsity softball team started off district play on a high note Tuesday night, beating Leander Glenn by a final score of 15-0.

The Grizzlies kept it close in the first inning, but a three-run home run by Sam Barnett over the left field fence in the second sparked a six-run inning for Liberty Hill to give them a 7-0 lead heading into the third.

“I think we sent a good message,” Head Coach Charice Hankins said. “Our kids were focused, they were ready, they took care of business. When you’ve got that big of a lead, it’s hard to kind of keep your focus, but I think our kids did good. I think it was a great message of confidence.”

The Panthers followed up their six-run second inning with zero in the third, but scored eight runs in the fourth to give them the 15-0 lead that would end up being the final score.

“Leander Glenn, it’s their first year,” Hankins said. “They’ve got freshmen and sophomores, so they’re young. We should beat teams like that at that level. We should play that way, but I think our district is going to be tough.”

The Lady Panthers finished the game with 18 hits, while holding the Grizzlies to zero. Barnett led the way with her three-run shot and four RBIs, Carissa Garza went four for four with two singles, a double, and a bunt, Jessika Truax hit a double and a triple, and Kinsey Kuhlmann hit a double and a triple, as well.

Amber Wiggins pitched the first three innings for the Panthers, finishing with eight strikeouts and giving up no hits. Abby Covington followed up with three strikeouts and no hits in the final two innings.

Liberty Hill went undefeated at 4-0 in the Seguin Varsity Tournament last weekend, beating San Diego, Midlothian, Bandera and Weslaco before being rained out on Saturday. An undefeated tournament and a 15-1-1 pre-district start to the season has the Lady Panthers’ confidence at a high level, according to Coach Hankins.

“That was our phase one,” Hankins said of the Lady Panthers’ impressive pre-district campaign. “That was our preseason, and I thought we did a great job. I think that we beat some big schools, and we played well. We ended up winning the tournament because we scored more points than anybody else, and that’s the way they ranked it. I thought we did a really, really, really good job. Our confidence is big.”

On Thursday, March 2, Liberty Hill faced off against San Diego, winning by a final score of 11-2. Joely Williamson led the Panthers with three RBIs and two doubles, Ashton Dirner finished with three RBIs, a double, and a single, Kuhlmann finished with two RBIs and a double, Truax finished with one RBI, a double, and a single, and Logan Oehler finished with one RBI and a single. Ashley Gatlin and Ashley Revere each hit a single, as well.

Covington got the win on the mound for Liberty Hill in a complete game, throwing five strikeouts in five innings.

The Panthers beat Midlothian by a final score of 7-2 in their second game of the tournament. Williamson continued her strong play at the plate with a home run and a single. Sam Barnett hit a triple and a double, Garza hit a double and a single, and Truax, Kuhlmann and Oehler each hit a single.

Wiggins got the win while pitching a complete game, finishing with 11 strikeouts in six innings.

Liberty Hill played Bandera on Friday, winning in an 11-0 shutout. Dirner led the way for the Panthers at the plate with three RBIs, a double, and a single. Garza, Kuhlmann, Gatlin, Covington, K. Revere, and Sargent each had RBIs, as well. Williamson hit a double, Garza hit two singles, and Barnett, Truax, Gatlin, Covington, Kaylyn Revere, Ireland Sargent, and Macias each hit a single.

Covington pitched a complete game for the Panthers once again, finishing with 10 strikeouts and a shutout victory.

The Lady Panthers’ final game of the tournament was a 4-2 win over Weslaco. Williamson and Kuhlmann each hit a home run and had an RBI in the contest. Gatlin had an RBI, as well, while Dirner hit a triple and Barnett and Oehler each hit a single.

Wiggins pitched her second complete game of the tournament, finishing with four strikeouts and another victory.

Liberty Hill is now 16-1-1 on the season. They’ll play Burnet this Friday, March 10, at Burnet High School at 6:45 p.m.

Sports@LHIndependent.com

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