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Three-run 8th powers 22-4A champion Lady Bobcats past LC-M

LITTLE CYPRESS – After leftfielder Bailee South “saved” the night, a dormant Orangefield offense woke up in the top of the eighth inning, and with that, came a District 22-4A district championship for the “girls in Orange” against Little Cypress-Mauriceville in front of a standing room only crowd at Lady Bear Field Monday night.

The Lady Bobcats (22-5-2, 11-1) were struggling at the plate all night against LC-M (22-7-1, 10-2) senior ace Karson Friar until the top of the eighth.

Friar had allowed just one hit through seven innings but the Lady Bobcats slapped four hits in the eighth, which led to a 3-0 victory.

Abigail Curphey got the rally going for the Lady Bobcats with a single to right. With one out, Ryden Stanfield belted a single up the middle.

LC-M elected to intentionally walk senior slugger Emma Humplik to load the bases.

Olivia Grant made the Lady Bears pay when she ripped a RBI single up the middle to score Curphey in what was the game-winner.

Lay Bobcat senior standout pitcher Codie Sorge added some insurance when she drove a pitch to right for a two-run single.

All of that may not have been possible if it were not for South’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh.

With two outs, Sorge walked Lady Bear Shae Fontenot and Orangefield elected to intentionally walk Lady Bear senior slugger Bailey Frenzel.

Ava Wright then launched what looked like could have been the game-clincher for the Lady Bears to deep leftfield. South retreated almost to the wall and hauled in a leaping, diving catch that definitely kept the Lady Bobcats alive. South may not be one of the “vaunted” Lady Bobcat sluggers this year but she should certainly be the “most popular kid” on the Orangefield campus Tuesday.

Sorge got the win in going all eight innings for the Lady Bobcats. She struck out 11 and walked eight, with three of those walks going to Frenzel, while allowing just three hits.

Friar ended up allowing five hits while fanning 10 and walking three.

Both pitchers were spot on most of the night but both teams did have a few threats.

Orangefield put two runners on in the top of the first but Friar worked out of it by striking out Sorge.

The Lady Bobcats loaded the bases in the second but came away empty-handed. Harleigh Rawls had a leadoff single and swiped second. With one out Jolie Ponfick drew a walk and Curphey reached on an error but Friar got out of the jam by striking out South.

The Lady Bears received a one-out double by Madeline Stephenson in the bottom of the third and Frenzel was intentionally walked with two outs. Sorge got out of trouble nicely by fanning Wright.

LC-M’s Jace Cook got a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth but was left stranded.

The Lady Bears left another opportunity go by the wayside in the bottom of the sixth as Sorge walked Frenzel, Cook and Cami Shugart as the bases were loaded with just one out. However, Sorge got out of it nicely by getting Rhylan Wilson to fly out and then got Friar to ground out to end the inning.

This game was so much different then the teams’ first meeting in district play where offense was such a key in that one, which was an 11-10 Orangefield victory.

Now, both of the solid squads will await their playoff opponents as the playoffs start later this week.

The Lady Bobcats and Lady Bears know their bidistrict playoff opponents for later this week. Orangefield will take on Splendora, the fourth-place team out of 21-4A, while the Lady Bears will take on third-place Hardin-Jefferson.