Hatley recovers to advance in Class 2A
May 2, 2011Hatley High School
HATLEY - Hatley had an uncomfortable bus ride back from Ackerman on Friday night after a 7-4 loss in the opener of a Class 2A softball playoff series.
The defending North champion Lady Tigers made sure the shorter rides home from Hatley last night were much more enjoyable.
Hatley took the final two games of the three-game series, 8-3 and 10-0 to advance and face Baldwyn in the second round.
"They were disappointed. I didn't have to say anything last night," Hatley coach Chris George said. "They knew they didn't play their best ballgame. Today's a new day. We played a lot better."
Hatley won Game 2 behind seven combined RBI from Lauren Sloan and Courtney Roberts. Roberts had a three-run inside-the-park home run. With a 4-2 lead in the fifth, Sloan's bases-loaded double made it 6-2. Roberts followed with a bloop for an 8-2 lead.
Roberts ended the series in the bottom of the sixth of Game 3 with her second inside-the-park job for a 10-0 run-rule win.
George didn't have to say anything after the road loss to motivate his team, a group that doesn't include a senior.
"We knew we were going to win or we were going to be sitting at home," said junior Deanna Wright.
In Game 3, Mallory Ashcraft had an early sac fly and winning pitcher Lesley Hudson had an RBI single as Hatley took a 4-0 lead after three innings.
"They knew they were capable, knew they were the better team," George said. "The problem is you've got to come out and prove it."
The Lady Tigers (15-10) added to the lead in the fifth on another Hudson sac fly, Taylor Barrett's infield RBI single, Wright's two-run single and Sloan's RBI single for a 9-0 lead.
Roberts was 6 for 7 in the two wins. Hudson improved to 14-8 with the two wins. Ackerman ends the season at 13-10.
"We got behind early and every time we'd inch back into contention, we'd make an error, have a walk...not quite as focused as were yesterday." said Ackerman coach Mike Brown. "We are a better team than we showed today."
George said there's more pressure this season to make a state championship appearance, coming off the school's first last May.
"Last year I felt like we were the underdog all throughout the playoffs," George said. "This year we have the target on our back."