By STEPHEN MONAHAN
WHITESBORO — Opening District 9-3A play Monday afternoon, it was the Whitesboro Lady Cats who drew first blood.
Behind a strong pitching performance by Amelia Grimes and swift bats at the top of the lineup, the Lady Cats run-ruled the Lady Leopards 10-0 in six innings.
Grimes no-hit Gainesville while striking out 12 batters. She allowed just three runners to reach base — all walks.
She also helped her cause at the plate, finishing 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a two-run RBI triple in the first inning that helped give her team an early 2-0 lead.
Whitesboro’s (12-8, 1-0 district) final run of the first inning came on a fielder’s choice by Alexis Phelps, giving the Lady Cats a 3-0 lead.
Gainesville (5-15, 0-1) pitcher Sarah Gerken struggled to find her stride, allowing all 10 runs (six earned) on nine hits while striking out four batters.
Despite giving up three runs in the third inning, the damage could have been much worse as Gerken pitched out of a bases loaded jam thanks to a strikeout and a nice running catch by Madyson Bond in left field to keep their team within striking distance.
Runs by the Lady Cats in the third came off an RBI single by Taylor Crews — who finished 1 for 1 at the plate with two walks, two stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI — and an RBI single by Katelyn Reed. Whitesboro’s third run came on an error by the Gainesville defense, allowing Linzy Bond to score to stretch the lead to 6-0.
Sarah Allman later added an RBI single in the fifth to make it 7-0 Whitesboro.
Laci Sumerville led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, her second of the day, then stole second and third before scoring on another Lady Leopards’ defensive error to give her team an 8-0 lead.
Krista Hitt followed with a walk and then stole second. Grimes picked up her second hit of the game to move Hitt to third. Grimes then later stole second as well.
After Alexis Phelps struck out, Bond came to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Hitt.
Grimes moved to third on the play, but a throwing error allowed her to score as the ball went into the Lady Cats’ dugout.
The run gave Whitesboro 10 runs, ending the game due to the mercy rule.
Gainesville’s lone opportunity to plate any runs came in the fifth when Briana Munoz and Madyson Bond both walked.
Both runners were thrown out at second base after base running miscues.
For Whitesboro, Sumerville finished 2 for 3 at the plate with three stolen bases and two runs scored. Hitt was 2 for 2 with two singles, a walk and three runs scored while Bond, Allman and Reed each added RBI singles in the win.
Next up for Gainesville will be on the road against Sanger at 5 p.m. today.
Whitesboro will look to add to its district record at noon today against Argyle.
By STEPHEN MONAHAN