2008-03-21 / Sports

Back In The Race

2nd baseman spurs Lady Badgers to key road win Lampasas 4, Lake Travis 1
By JEREMY HEATH Staff Writer

2nd baseman spurs Lady Badgers to key road win
Lampasas 4, Lake Travis 1

Stacey Dickens executes a successful sacrifice in the LHS win at Lake Travis. LAKE TRAVIS - Lake Travis ace Lyssa Yates didn't make many mistakes Wednesday night.

But one of the few she made will turn into a doublejeopardy mistake at a later time.

Not only did senior second baseman Taryn Brown make Yates pay for offering up a down-the-middle fastball by singling into the gap for a two-run double that broke open a 1-1 game in the fifth inning, but she's also planning to make Yates pay for the mistake again -- kind of a friendly wager.

"We're basically best friends," Brown said of Yates. "Now, she has to do some kind of favor for me sometime. It was a low fastball, right down the middle. I was just trying to stay focused on keeping my weight back, and I was mad. I was mad at the situation because we were tied instead of winning."

Brown's gapper, which came after Kat Strickland and Kirby Crow both reached base, gave the Lady Badgers' a 3-1 lead that was never threatened because of Crow's threehit effort on the mound.

Taryn Brown stole second base after singling in two runs in the fifth inning. The Lady Badgers (11-12-1 overall, 2-3 in District 25-4A) recorded their second consecutive district win after an 0-3 start. Marble Falls drops to 1-4 in district. LHS was scheduled to play at Pflugerville Connally on Thursday night.

"We're in good shape," LHS head coach Chris Gaffney said. "I told them after the Marble Falls game (a 4-3 loss on March 11) -- even though I was kind of reaching at the time but now totally believe this -- that in our district anyone can beat anyone (Dripping Springs beat early favorite Vista Ridge on Wednesday). I think we can beat anyone. We're a bad relay throw and a missed bunt away from beating Dripping Springs."

Crow (6-7) turned in her fourth consecutive quality start, allowing three hits and one run in seven innings. She followed up her 11-strikeout performance in a 10- 1 win against Burnet on Saturday with seven strikeouts on Tuesday. Crow changed speeds and locations throughout the game, consistently speeding up and slowing down the bats of Lady Cavalier hitters.

Taryn Brown's two-run single broke a 1-1 tie. "It's the change-up," Gaffney said. "Kirby's doing a great job of keeping hitters off-balance where they can't dig in. She threw one change-up in the fifth inning (to strike out catcher Stephanie Lang) that pretty much won the game for us. It completely took the wind out of their sails."

That strikeout followed a defensive gem from Brown that robbed first baseman Sara DeKay of a oneout single. DeKay slapped a ground ball back through the box, but Brown showed her range, spearing the ball behind second base, gathering herself and making an accurate throw to Taylor Holloman for the out.

The Lady Cavaliers opened the scoring in the second inning, when Kelsey Sexton doubled home DeKay with one out. The Lady Badger defense prevented the inning from getting out of hand. Freshman catcher Marisa Bogart caught Sexton too far off the bag at second, and senior third baseman Vonzella Underwood made a strong pickup and throw on a slowly hit ball to end the inning.

Bogart, who has been battling a thumb injury the past two weeks, provided much more than defense. With one out in the fourth, Bogart tied the game with her second home run of the season, a shot to left-center. She then led off the sixth inning with a single, moved to third on a Holloman double and scored on a Stacey Dickens single. That run gave the Lady Badgers a 4-1 lead.

PHOTOS BY RICHARD AKRIDGE Taryn Brown robbed Lake Travis' Sara DeKay of a hit in the fourth inning after spearing a ground ball behind second base, planting her feet and firing to first in time for the out. Lady Badger left fielder Kallen Vann went 2 for 4 and stole two bases. Bogart finished 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Holloman went 2 for 3, and Dickens finished 1 of 2 with an RBI and a successful sacrifice bunt.

After Thursday's game at Connally, the Lady Badgers return home to play host to Hendrickson on Tuesday, closing out the first half of the district loop.

"Everyone is optimistic," Brown said.

"All these freshmen bring a lot of high energy. At this point they don't see themselves as freshmen anymore, and they're certainly not playing like freshmen."

Marisa Bogart Stacey Dickens

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