Lady Bucks’ season ends in area playoff
The Lady Buckaroos’ ride came to an end Saturday after a twogame series against the Merkel Lady Badgers in the area playoff. The Lady Badgers swept the Lady Bucks at Jim Ned High School in Tuscola to advance to the regional quarterfinals.
After combining for 15 runs in games 2 and 3 of the bi-district playoff, the Lady Bucks were held to a total of three runs in the sweep.
Merkel held the Lady Bucks scoreless until the seventh inning of Game 1 in a 4-1 win Friday, May 6. The Lady Bucks extended Game 2 into the 12th inning Saturday, May 7 and ultimately fell 4-2.
Game 1: Lady Badgers 4, Lady Bucks 1
The Lady Bucks’ bats were stymied by Lady Badgers pitcher Josie Whitehead, who held the Lady Bucks without a hit until Joni Jackson singled with two outs during the top of the fourth inning.
Chloe Whitmire followed with a walk. Eugenia Duran, running for Whitmire, and Jackson was left stranded after Brittney Melton struck out for the third out.
Jaycee Tumlinson tripled to open the bottom of the fourth inning for the Lady Badgers. Following a strikeout, Tumlinson scored when Briana Scarbrough bunted into a fielder’s choice and reached base with Whitmire throwing home. Scarbrough later scored on a two-out single by Ana Lara.
The Lady Bucks were retired in order during the fifth and sixth innings, striking out five times.
Catherynn Benning ton singled to lead off the Lady Badgers during the bottom of the sixth inning. Bennington was brought home with a one-out double by Eva Rodriguez. During the next at-bat, Rodriguez scored due to an error at right field.
The Lady Bucks were able to avoid the shutout with one out during the top of the seventh inning. Jackson singled to open the inning and was followed with a walk by Whitmire. Mia Castillo entered as a courtesy runner for Whitmire.
Jackson and Castillo attempted a double steal with Jackson called out at third base and Castillo reaching second base. Castillo scored on a single by Melton.
Whitehead earned the win for the Lady Badgers with 15 strikeouts.
Game 2: Lady Badgers 4, Lady Bucks 2
T h e L a d y Bucks did not go away easily. After 12 innings and nearly four hours, Lady Badger Kyleigh Mauldin hit a go-ahead two-run home run during the top of the 12th inning to lead Merkel to the 3A Region I quarterfinals.
Duran gave the Lady Bucks the lead during the bottom of the second inning. Following a pop out to lead-off by Jackson, Whitmire singled to right field.
Duran entered as a courtesy runner and scored following an error by the Lady Badgers’ catcher. Ryleigh Cowan grounded out to end the inning.
Defensively, the Lady Bucks held firm until the top of the sixth inning. Whitehead singled to open the inning. Amirah Navarrette entered as a courtesy runner and reached third base following a wild pitch to Mauldin, who grounded out. Navarrette tied the game at 1-1 when she scored on a single by Tumlinson. After neither team
After neither team scored in the seventh inning, the game went into extra innings. Both teams went without runs during the eighth inning and the game was extended after both teams scored runs during the ninth inning.
Bennington gave the Lady Badgers the lead when scoring on a oneout double by Rodriguez. Jackson kept her team alive when she scored on a double by Whitmire.
Mauldin’s heroics came with two outs during the top of the 12th inning. Whitehead doubled with two outs and was replaced on the base path by Navarrette. Mauldin sent her 0-1 pitch to left field for a home run.
Cara Schkade gave the Lady Bucks a shot with a one-out double. She was left stranded on second base following back-to-back strikeouts to end the season.
The Lady Badgers advance to play Coahoma this weekend. The Lady Bucks’ season comes to an end with a second-place finish in district and bi-district champions. The Lady Bucks’ final record for the 2022 season is 21- 10.