87° F Sunday, June 25, 2017

By Kyle Gregory
Lake Travis View Contributing Writer

Zoe Bacon launched a game-winning two-run homer Tuesday night after pitching 10 innings as the Lady Cavalier softball team kept its playoff hopes alive in dramatic fashion in a 6-4 visiting Anderson.

“I’m pretty tired, but I train for those kind of situations. It’s not that big of a deal, but it was tiring and stressful,” Bacon said.

Bacon had two homers in the win on top of the complete-game effort.

“That was a nail biter,” Lake Travis coach Christie Knox added. “It was a huge deal to win that game as far as staying in the playoff run … It’s great to see your kids go out there and keep fighting and come out on top in a game like that. It was fun, it’s fun to play those games and it’s more fun to win them.”

The Lady Cavs opened the scoring in the first inning, as Riley Cunningham and Sarah Pannkuk reached on a double and single. Cunningham scored on a fielder’s choice by Allison Brascom to put the Lady Cavs up 1-0.

Anderson tied the game in the third after a double a single, but the Lady Cavs retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Bacon sent a ball over the right-centerfield fence for her first of two homers.

Bacon, who pitched a complete game, and the Lady Cavalier defense escaped a bases loaded jam in the top of fifth, only allowing one run.

Tied 2-2, the Lady Cavs gained a little separation in the bottom of the same inning. Cunningham launched a leadoff home run to get Lake Travis started. Brascom walked and was driven home on a Hanna Contreras double.

The Lady Cavs maintained their two-run lead until the top of the seventh. With one out, Anderson loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. Bacon managed to strikeout the next hitter that she faced, but Lake Travis couldn’t seal the deal and a two-run single sent the game into extra innings.

“It was very nerve wracking at the end when it got so close,” Contreras said. “We didn’t expect it to be so head to head, but as we get deeper into district we see that a lot of teams have progressed and it’s getting a little tougher. You don’t want to stress, but you have that stress because you think, ‘Oh my goodness, we have to get an out.’ You put that little press on yourself and you kind of get more in the game – a little more focused.”

The Lady Cavs and the Trojans each retired the side in the eighth. Lake Travis escaped another bases loaded jam in the ninth and had a chance to close it out in the bottom of the inning with runners on first and third, but a flyout ended the inning.

Bacon allowed a double in the 10th, but nothing more.

“I was a little upset with myself for letting her hit that [in the bottom of the seventh], but you’ve got to have a short memory as a pitcher,” Bacon said.

Brascom led off the 10th with a walk, and reached second on a throwing error by the catcher, then third on a sacrifice fly from Contreras. With the runner on third, the Lady Cavs only needed a base hit to win the ballgame, but Bacon made it easy for them as she pounded a ball deep over the centerfield fence.

“It’s always nice because we have some great power hitters that are all there in the three-four-five slot. They did a great job to keep fighting and win the battle,” Knox said.

Bacon pitched a complete game, allowing four earned runs on 14 hits. She had nine strikeouts and four walks.

Cunningham led the team offensively, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI. Bacon was 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs. Pannkuk, Baylee Kuss, Makaela Williamson and Alyssa Dickens all singled, while Contreras had a double. Brascom and Contreras picked up the other two RBIs.

The Lady Cavaliers are currently battling to maintain their number four spot in District 15-5A and a position in the playoffs.

“We’ve seen in this district teams that get run ruled in one game only to come back and beat the top teams the next time they meet them,” Knox said. “You can’t take for granted that you’ve got any in the bag. You have to understand that all of the teams in this district are capable of beating anybody. I felt like we did a good job and Del Valle is going to be a similar situation. It’s a must win situation.”

Lake Travis play at Del Valle 7 p.m. Friday. The Lady Cavs then host Westlake in their district finale April 16 at 7 p.m.

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