Lady Mustangs advance to state semifinals with 8-0 whitewash of St. Joe's
Buffalo Island Central advanced to the Class 3A State Tournament semifinals, shutting out Conway St. Joseph's 8-0 Saturday afternoon in a rain delayed contest at Marked Tree. The quarterfinal game was set to begin at 10 a.m., but inclement weather forced the first pitch to be delayed until 1 p.m.
The delay didn't affect the Lady Mustangs, who pounded 12 hits while riding the superb pitching performance of junior right hander Madison Greathouse.
BIC scored single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. A throwing error gave BIC its first run, before Karoline Thomas' sacrifice fly gave the Lady Mustangs a two-run lead.
BIC scored four more times in the fifth inning with two outs. Thomas slammed a single up the middle before Kelsey Strickland hammered a two-run homer, well over the right field fence, giving BIC a 4-0 lead. Singles by Bailey Owens and Catherine Colbert kept the inning alive, before Lexie Ray delivered a two-run single, giving the Lady Mustangs a 6-0 cushion.
BIC scored two more times in the sixth inning to wrap up the scoring. Hannah Poe singled to right field and moved to second on a fielder's choice grounder by Greathouse. Thomas rapped an RBI hit to left field, followed by Strickland's run scoring groundout.
Greathouse went the distance, allowing just three hits while striking out four and walking only one. The junior retired the last 17 batters she faced. Anna Mayer took the loss for the Lady Bulldogs. Mayer allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 12 hits. The right hander struck out two and issued no walks.
Strickland finished with a single, a homer, and three RBI while Thomas had two hits and pair of runs batted in. Owens, Poe and Colbert all singled twice while Ray had a two-run single. Wildy added one hit.
"We had one big hit after another, right up the middle, with two outs," said BIC Coach Marty Williford. "Kelsey Strickland's home run was a big blow. Watching their coach, her head just dropped after the home run. I knew they were pretty much done after that. That was a big time hit for Kelsey."
BIC (23-1) faced Foreman Monday afternoon at 12:00 with a trip to the Class 2A State Championship on the line. Complete game coverage in next week's Town Crier.