GRAND SALINE–A no-hitter in game one and a two-out walk-off hit in game three during a May 12-14 best-of-three Regional quarterfinal series propelled the Kerens Lady ‘Cats past the Hawkins Lady Hawks and into the Class 2A Region 3 softball semifinals.
Kerens advanced to play Groveton May 20-21 at Whitehouse High School for another best-of-three series. The Kerens-Groveton series winner will play in the May 28 Regional final against the victor between Como-Pickton and Lovelady. From there, the Region 3 winner advances to the State tournament May 31-June 4.
In game one May 12, Kerens’ Rylee Spivey threw a no-hitter in a 2-0 win. With the game scoreless in the top of the seventh inning, Kenadee Lynch was hit by pitch, Leach Greene battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk and Abbigail Holt hit an 0-2 pitch to center field for a single, scoring Lynch from second, who had moved over on a Madison Brumit flyout.
Raygan Brooks hit a deep fly ball to center field, which was caught but advanced the Kerens baserunners. Ella Engel then hit a two-out single to left field to score Greene. In the bottom of the seventh, Spivey struck out the side, totaling 16 strikeouts in the victory.
After falling 17-3 to Hawkins in game two, Kerens bounced back to take the series with a 5-4 win coming on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kerens scored first in the bottom of the second after Brumit (who was pinch-run by Brooke Sikes) was hit by a pitch, Abbigail Holt bunted Sikes to second and Brooks moved Sikes over on a ground-out to the shortstop. Sikes scored when Engel grounded out to the shortstop.
After Hawkins scored three runs in the top of the third to go ahead 3-1, Olivia Holt led off the bottom of the fifth with a ground-rule double to center field. McKenzie Bancroft then singled to right field to put runners on first and third. Lynch next launched a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run home run that put Kerens ahead 4-3.
Hawkins came back to score a run after a leadoff triple in the top of the sixth to tie the score at 4. Spivey struck out the side in the top of the seventh, setting up Kerens’ winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Blair Blue led off with a bunt single then Olivia Holt hit into a fielder's choice with Hawkins throwing out Blue at third. After a strikeout, Lynch drew a six-pitch walk. Greene drove the second pitch she saw to right field to score Olivia Holt from second for the series-clinching walk-off win.