Lady Panthers end great Lady Bear run

Published 7:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

LIBERTY — The Liberty Lady Panthers, the defending Class 4A state softball champions, ended what was a tremendous Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears campaign Friday as they took Game Two of their best-of-three 4A Region III bidistrict playoff series 3-0 at Liberty High School.

The Lady Panthers (19-9) now move on to the area round next week while the Lady Bears (27-4) will always look back on a great regular season Liberty won Game One Wednesday night 2-1 in 10 grueling innings behind a strong effort from pitcher Kaci West, who allowed just three hits while fanning 16.

The Lady Bears picked up more hits the Lady Panthers actually had on Friday as LC-M finished with six and Liberty had five but the Lady Panthers prevailed.

West got the win on Friday as she tossed six innings, scattering three hits while striking out four. She had to reenter the game in the seventh after reliever Lillie Wakefield allowed three hits.

Renna Toomey pitched well for the Lady Bears as she scattered five hits over five innings while striking out two and walking one. Brianna Frenzel tossed a hitless seventh frame, striking out one.

The Lady Panthers struck for a pair of runs in the bottom of the third.

Jo McGinnis drew a leadoff walk and Baylee Chandler reached on an infield single. Jaylen Pritchard then hit a hard shot and reached base after an error at second base and McGinnis raced in to score.

Kaci West brought in the second run with a sacrifice fly that plated Chandler.

The Lady Panthers scratched in a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Jaylen Pritchard roped a one-out stand-up triple and eventually scored when Kara Cannon put down a bunt and Pritchard was able to score in a play at the plate.

The Lady Bears’ most serious threat came in the top of the sixth when Brianna Frenzel and Bailey Frenzel had back-to-back two-out singles but Wakefield got out of the jam on a Toomey groundout.

Morgan Weaver had a leadoff single in the top of the seventh but was left stranded. Bailey Frenzel led the Lady Bears with two hits.