By JUSTIN RAINS
In their first meeting this season, the Slocum softball team edged rival Grapeland, 1-0.
The second time around — and with Grapeland playing short-handed — it wasn’t nearly as close.
Thanks to sloppy defensive play from the Sandiettes and strong pitching from senior Doodle Selman, the Lady Mustangs topped Grapeland, 8-1. With the win, Slocum also clinches the District 20-A championship.
“We’ve been so close with them (in recent years),” SHS coach David Ives said. “We’ve split with them or they’ve won both...so it does feel good.
“I’m happy for my two seniors (Selman and Brice Sizemore).”
Grapeland played without players Jayde Westbrook, Amy Brown, Shelby Frauenberger and Justine Dancer, all of whom are competing at the regional golf tournament in Brenham.
After the game, GHS coach Jim Dillard said that’s just the way it goes with small schools.
“We got to play some players that don’t see much action in, and that’s always good to get them some reps,” Dillard said. “In 1A, you share. Our golf girls have a good chance to win state.”
Grapeland actually struck first in the game, when Clara Shaw scored on a single to left by Cheyanne Mixon.
But, from there, it was all Slocum.
The Lady Mustangs plated two runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings in the victory, with only three of the runs being earned.
Brice Sizemore led off the first for Slocum with a single, and then scored on a triple down the left field line by Brooke January. January then came around to score on a sacrifice.
Sizemore again got in the act in the third, leading off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a bunt single from Selman.
On the play, the throw to first base wasn’t caught by Grapeland’s Paige Sullivan, allowing Sizemore to score and Selman to move to second.
Selman then moved to third on a sacrifice from January before coming in to score on a fielder’s choice later in the inning.
After the first, when Selman faced six batters, the senior settled down and faced no more than five in an inning after that.
She struck out 11, including four in the fourth inning, when one was negated by a dropped ball.
Seven different Lady Mustangs scored in the game, with Sizemore the only one to cross home plate twice. All but two Slocum players reached base at least once in the victory.