May 6—MELISSA — When Bonham made a pitching change to try and stay in the series Friday night, Whitesboro immediately made the Lady Warriors pay.
The Lady Cat softball team won its area round playoff series with Bonham, winning 10-2 Thursday and 6-0 Friday at the Z-plex Texas Sports Village in Melissa.
No. 5 Whitesboro (28-4-2) led 3-0 after the third inning of the second game, but Bonham starting pitcher Sarah Wrape kept the Lady Cats in check in the fourth and fifth innings, at one point retiring seven-straight hitters. Addisen McBride broke the streak with a one-out walk in the sixth, and Maci Graves drove her home with an RBI single.
Bonham (24-11) changed pitchers at this point, turning to game one starter Reyleigh Shockley. Whitesboro senior Abi Hildebrand stepped up and hit the first pitch over the wall in right center field. The two-run shot made it 6-0. Shockley recovered the get the next two outs, but the damage was done.
Hildebrand said since she had seen Shockley the day prior, she knew what to expect.
"Knowing that she throws low, I was just waiting for any low pitch, wanting to lay off the high pitches," Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand led Whitesboro with three RBIs in game two. The first came in the second inning when she laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Graves from third base.
Graves also had a good game two at the plate, hitting 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs.
Graves hit seventh in the order, Hildebrand eighth. Together with ninth hitter Keely Hartless, the bottom third of the order contributed four of Whitesboro's eight hits with four RBIs.
Whitesboro coach Preslee Gallaway said it is always nice to get production from the bottom of the lineup.
"I don't think there's anybody in our lineup that you can take a pitch off for," Gallaway said. "That's something that we're very lucky to have, and I'm grateful for it. When everybody in our lineup hits, we're hard to beat, so I'm proud to say that. They put in all the work. They work hard every day of the week."
Graves also did well in the first game, hitting 2-for-3 with an RBI. Other game one leaders included Bradi Gallaway and Olivia Hildebrand with two RBIs each. Melanie Baldwin hit 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs.
Avery Howerton pitched all 14 innings of the series. In two complete games, she allowed two runs on nine hits. She totaled 17 strikeouts with five walks.
Playing seven innings hasn't been common for Whitesboro, with only four district games lasting that lone due to several run-rule wins. Gallaway said that makes it hard to prepare for seven-inning playoff games, but the Lady Cats handled it well in this series.
"Your energy has to stay up throughout the entire seven innings, whether you're up, or whether you're down," Gallaway said. "I think that's something that we're going to have to continue to get better at... I'm super proud of them. They came out a lot more energized (Friday), probably because we had that win (Thursday), too."