Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–Kemp Lady Yellowjacket senior Michelle Ritterbach gained
another major honor this week, as the Texas Girls Coaches
Association named her to the Class 3A All-State team.
was one of 40 Class 3A players from across the state picked for
the TGCA squad.
A four-year starter at shooting guard, Ritterbach led the team
in scoring, and was among the team leaders in rebounding,
assists and steals. She was an all-region selection at guard
Monitor file photo
Kemp Lady Yellowjacket senior Michelle Ritterbach (23) defends
against Quinlan Ford's Lady Panthers Jan. 3.
The Lady ’Jackets advanced to the playoffs in both her
sophomore and junior years, but was unable to make a third
playoff run this past season.
A multi-sport standout – she is a regional qualifier in both
cross country and track – Ritterbach was the only player from
the Cedar Creek Lake area selected. Brownsboro senior Hillary
Shafer was the Tri-County area’s only other All-State selection.
Athens rebounds to win tournament
Eustace Bulldogs finish as runner-up; Mabank
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–After suffering a first-round loss to the Mabank
Panthers, the Athens Hornets put themselves back into the
championship game and beat the Eustace Bulldogs twice Saturday
to claim the first-place trophy.
The Hornets rebounded from the opening loss to knock Mabank out
of the tournament, following Panther splits with Brownsboro and
Mabank was scheduled to host Palestine Tuesday in their final
non-district contest before opening District 13-3A baseball play
at home against the Kaufman Lions at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 18.
The Panthers will visit Ferris for their second district contest
at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, before returning home to host
Kemp Friday, March 25.
Eustace visited Kemp Monday and were scheduled to host Palestine
Tuesday before taking an open date Friday.
The Bulldogs will open District 13-2A baseball play on the road
March 22 with a 7 p.m. contest at Malakoff before returning home
to host Sunnyvale March 25.
The Panthers opened the Athens tournament with one of their
strongest performances, nipping a late Hornet comeback to win
Austin Craig led the Panthers at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a
three-RBI home run in the bottom of the seventh to bring the
Panthers from behind.
Craig also allowed four earned runs, but notched six strikeouts
and issued three walks.
Athens opened a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and boosted that
lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth before the Panthers came
back with one run in the bottom of the fifth, two in the sixth
and four in the seventh to win the game.
In their second game, however, the Panthers were pounded by the
Kaufman Lions, 12-2, committing four errors in the contest.
The Lions came from behind, scoring four runs in the third
inning to take a 5-2 lead, and then blew open the game with six
runs in the fifth inning.
Cameron Kile took the loss for the Panthers, allowing eight
earned runs on six hits, and giving up five walks while notching
Mabank bounced back to knock off Brownsboro, 4-0, behind Craig’s
two-hit complete-game performance.
Craig notched eight strikeouts and allowed just one walk.
The Panthers scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth
inning and added an insurance run in the sixth.
Jake Gonzales and Hunter Carrico both went 2-for-3 at the plate
to lead Mabank’s eight-hit attack.
That win put the Panthers in a rematch with the Hornets, who
crushed the Panthers, 16-4.
Athens pounded starter Garrett Holcomb and reliever Jake Raney
for seven earned runs each, as Holcomb gave up eight hits and
The Hornets never trailed, opening an 8-0 lead in the first
inning and capping the game with a five-run fifth inning.
The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Wills
LSU signee Braden Strickland led the Bulldogs at the plate,
going 3-for-4, while Owen Babcock, Jacob Petillo and Raymond
Shutak (two) drove in the Bulldog runs.
Wills Point scored its lone run in the top of the third, but the
Bulldogs came back to score three runs in the bottom of the
third and added an insurance run in the fourth.
Eustace then edged Kaufman, 9-7, barely holding off a late Lion
Eustace took an 8-0 lead with three runs in both the first and
third inning and two in the second, but the Lions had single
runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning before exploding for
four runs in the seventh.
Strickland went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Tyson Oliver was
2-for-4 with two RBIs, Addison Scott also drove in two RBIs and
Alex Pharmakis went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Bulldog starter Nathan Taft allowed six hits and three runs (two
earned), but the Lions shelled reliever Forrest Lane for three
earned runs in just one-third of an inning before Petillo came
in to wind up the game.
That win put the Bulldogs against the Hornets, who had to win
twice against unbeaten Eustace to claim the championship.
The Hornets did just that, nipping the Bulldogs 9-7 in the first
game and winning the championship game 7-4.
In the first game, both teams battled for the lead, with Eustace
taking a 2-1 lead in the first inning. Both teams scored twice
in the second inning, but Athens exploded for four runs in the
top of the third to take a 7-4 lead.
Both teams again scored two runs each in the fourth inning to
make it 9-6, and Eustace was able to push one run across in the
bottom of the seventh to come close.
Scott, Oliver, Strickland, Petillo (two) and Lane (two) all had
RBI hits for the Bulldogs.
Of Athens’ nine runs, only five were earned, with starter Blake
Ward giving up seven runs and reliever Brad Sawicki giving up
two. Ward gave five free passes by hitting three batters and
issuing two walks.
In the championship game, the Hornets built a 7-1 lead over the
first four innings before the Bulldogs managed to score three
runs in the bottom of the fourth, but neither team scored after
Lane took the loss for the Bulldogs, giving up five runs (just
three earned), while Shutak gave up one unearned run. Neither
pitcher recorded a strikeout, but they combined to issue just
three walks and hit three batters.
his head in the game
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank Panther Francisco Gallegos (15) heads the ball toward the
Lindale goal early in the second half of their District 31-4A
soccer match at Panther Stadium Friday. The Panthers fought the
top-ranked Eagles to a 0-0 draw in the first half.