By Kyle Gregory
Lake Travis softball entered District 15-5A play with a bang, run-ruling visiting Austin High 12-0 in five innings.
“I think that was a really good start to everything we’re about to do this year and this season,” Lake Travis pitcher Zoe Bacon said. “It’s a good reflection on what we expect to happen the whole season.”
The Lady Cavaliers got started early, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second inning. Hanna Contreras reached on a single, and Lake Travis used small ball to get the scoring spree going.
Bacon attempted to advance Contreras on a sacrifice bunt, but the Austin catcher launched an errant throw, which allowed Bacon to reach first and Contreras to move to third. Taylor Provopoulus, Bacon’s courtesy runner, then tried to steal second, leading to another errant throw by the catcher to score Contreras.
Makaela Williamson, the Lady Cavs’ next batter, interrupted the small ball strategy by knocking a triple that scored both baserunners. The Cavs nine-hole hitter, Bailey Kuss, proved that you don’t need big shots to knock in multiple runs. She laid down a bunt that led to another Austin error, scoring two more.
The Lady Cavs’ final two runs of the inning came courtesy of a two-run homerun over the left field wall by Allison Brascom.
“We were ready – first game of the new district,” Brascom said. “It was an introduction to how it’s going to be for us. We’re a hitting team; this kind of set the tone.”
While the Lady Cavaliers committed three errors in the contest, it didn’t matter much as Bacon and the rest of the defense were remarkably efficient. Only five Austin batters reached base all night.
“I know Austin High; I know they can hit the ball,” Bacon said. “We kept the ball down, kept it in the yard. The infielders did amazing jobs, the outies did good on cuts – everything was working.”
The Lady Cavs added a run in the third on an RBI double by shortstop Riley Cunningham.
A two-run bomb over the centerfield fence from Contreras in the bottom of the fourth put Lake Travis ahead 10-0, capturing the run rule. RBIs from Jordan Goulart and Sarah Pannkuk added two insurance runs. A 1-2-3 inning from the defense in the top of the fifth ended the game.
“They did a great job,” Lake Travis coach Christie Knox said. “We’ve been anxious and excited all day. Just to start district is exciting. It’s a new district, so you don’t know exactly what to expect. Austin is historically a tough team, and I think everybody is really pleased – I know I am.”
Bacon pitched a complete game with three hits, two strikeouts, zero walks and zero earned runs.
Brascom, Contreras and Pannkuk led the team with two hits each, and Brascom and Contreras each homered. Cunningham hit a double and Williamson tripled. Cunningham, Brascom, Contreras, Williamson and Kuss each had two RBIs.
“We played good defense, and they hit the ball hard,” Knox said. “Zoe pitched a great game, and obviously we had some great hits. It was good.”
Lake Travels to Guerrero Park Friday to face Bowie at 7 p.m.
“We have a lot of confidence that if we play the way we’re capable of that we’ll be successful,” Knox said. “The kids work really hard and they’ve trained hard. So if they do what they know how to do we’ll do well”Every night, you’ve got to come out and be ready. Any team that steps on the field with you is going to compete and give you their best … Once you’re out here, all bets are off, and you’ve got to do your job.”
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