Aledo junior pitcher Hannah Andrews allowed just three hits and catcher Landri Mays smashed a pair of doubles and drove in two runs to lead the Ladycats to a convincing 5-1 victory over Azle in game one Friday afternoon of a best-of-3 area softball playoff series at Chisholm Trail High School.
Game 2 will be at noon Saturday at Chisholm Trail High School with Game 3, if necessary, to follow.
Andrews was the winning pitcher, walking four and striking out four in seven innings. Andrews also helped herself out in the field by catching two line drives and turning both into double plays after doubling up base runners at first base. She also helped herself out at the plate with a critical two-RBI single in the sixth inning that broke open the game to give the Ladycats a four-run cushion as they entered the seventh inning.
Sam Bradley was the losing pitcher, allowing five runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings.
After Azle scored a run in the top of the first for its only lead of the contest, Aledo came back in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs to take a lead it would not relinquish. The big hit for the Ladycats was a two-run double by Mays that drove in Lindsey McElroy and Kadyn Kirkpatrick, both who reached on singles.
Four-and-a-half scoreless innings followed before the Ladycats stretched their lead to 5-1 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Bradley issued two walks to begin the inning and both runners moved up a base after a perfectly-placed sacrifice bunt by Megan Reynolds. Mays was up next, and Bradley was instructed to intentionally walk the senior slugger to load the bases.
However, on the fourth pitch of the intentional walk, the ball got away from Azle catcher Katelyn Harris, allowing McElroy to score from third base to increase the Aledo advantage to 3-1.
Andrews followed with her timely two-RBI single that plated Kirkpatrick and Krissy Johnson, courtesy running for Mays, to extend the lead to 5-1.
Andrews issued a walk to Megan Longbrake to begin the top of the seventh, but induced a pop out that second baseman Brynn Hellman caught for the first out of the frame.
The next Azle batter, Brooke Ledbetter, hit a line drive back to Andrews in the circle where she caught the ball for the second out and fired the ball over to first baseman Taylor to double up Longbrake and complete the double play which ended the game as the Ladycats are a game away from advancing to the regional quarterfinals.