ANNA – Whitesboro dominated its first playoff game Thursday night and is moving on to the area round.
The Whitesboro softball team defeated Dallas Life Oak Cliff 15-0 in three innings in a bi-district game at Anna High School.
Whitesboro (18-5-1) scored runs virtually at will while holding Life Oak Cliff without a hit.
Life Oak Cliff (9-10-1) scored 22 or more runs three times in district play but couldn’t solve the Lady Cats’ pitching.
Whitesboro coach Preslee Gallaway said she feels confident in the Lady Cats after seeing them in a playoff game.
“I think our team’s good throughout the whole lineup,” Gallaway said. “I told them, ‘You’re going to face better pitching and better fielding. The deeper you go, the better teams you’re going to see. You gotta bring it. At the end of the day, whoever scores more runs is who wins. So, you’re going to have go put some runs up early in the inning and keep at it.’”
The Lady Cats scored 11 runs in the first inning after sending 14 hitters to the plate. Olivia Hildebrand hit two triples in the inning, and Karley Wolf cleared the bases with an inside the park grand slam.
Needing a 15-run lead to trigger the three-inning run rule, the Lady Cats picked up the 4 runs they needed in the second, then had runners step off the bases early to mercifully end the inning.
Gallaway said Hildebrand and Wolf are two of Whitesboro’s better hitters.
“We have a lot of big hitters, but those two tend to hit the ball in the gaps,” Gallaway said. “Which (is) normally what they do. I told them, ‘You’re going to have to go hit the ball today.’ Luckily, they did.”
Wolf led the team with 4 RBIs and a run on 2-for-3 hitting. Maci Graves hit 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs.
Wolf pitched the first two innings before giving way to Graves for the third. Wolf walked the first hitter, and the leadoff hitter in the second reached on catcher’s interference. Wolf struck out the other five hitters she faced, and the second-inning baserunner was caught stealing. Graves struck out the first two hitters of her inning, then finished the game by inducing a groundout to herself.
Gallaway said going forward, the Lady Cats need to remember every team they face will be a good one.
“Every team that you face is coming to get you,” Gallaway said. “(Whitesboro) going undefeated in district, (other teams) take that in account whenever they go play somebody like you. You need to go play lights out, and every team that you face is good. You don’t underestimate anyone.”
The Lady Cats will face the winner between Whitewright and Paris Chisum in the area round.