Lady Mustangs advance to Regional Tourney
Buffalo Island Central rode the strong right arm of sophomore Karla Marroquin to advance to next week's regional tournament with a 7-3 victory Friday afternoon over Rector at Bay.
Marroquin struck out 18 Lady Cougars and also drilled a pair of doubles while driving in two runs to lead the Lady Mustangs to the win. Senior Sammi Fowler also added a pair of hits while driving in three runs to aid BIC's offensive attack.
BIC jumped to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning when Marroquin led off the game with a double. Lauryn Smith followed with a walk, putting runners at first and second before Jenna Pike's single looked to have scored Marroquin from second base, but Lady Cougar left fielder Brittany Sharp gunned down Marroquin at the plate to keep the game scoreless. Fowler immediately picked the Lady Mustangs up with an RBI groundout, scoring Smith from third to give BIC a 1-0 edge.
The Lady Mustangs scored three more runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. The big blow of the inning was Marroquin's two-run double that scored Shelby Qualls and Corie Flannigan, who both singled to lead off the inning, giving BIC a 3-0 lead. Lauryn Smith's RBI groundout provided the Lady Mustangs' third run of the inning, making the score 4-0.
Rector got a run back in their half of the second on a passed ball to cut the margin to 4-1, and picked up two more runs in the third to slice the lead to 4-3. The Lady Cougars got an RBI single off the bat of Stephanie Dement and added another run on a Marroquin wild pitch.
BIC went into the fifth inning with a one run lead, but put the game away, scoring three runs. Smith led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second when Pike drew a walk from Rector pitcher Elizabeth Loveless. Fowler drove home the first run of the inning with a line shot up the middle, scoring Smith from second base. Lady Mustang Coach Cary Cossey surprised Rector by pulling off a double steal as Pike stole home when Cougar catcher Hillary Calhoun attempted to throw out Fowler at second base. An error allowed the Lady Mustangs to pick up the third run of the inning, giving BIC a 7-3 lead which was more than enough for Marroquin, who got stronger as the game went on.
Marroquin retired 13 of the final 14 batters she faced in picking up the win. The crafty sophomore finished with a three hitter to go along with the 18 strikeouts. Marroquin walked just one batter in the game while giving up three runs, all unearned.
BIC will play Monday afternoon in a 5:30 contest against the number one seeded and conference champion Bay Lady Yellowjackets.