Lady Bucks overcome opening loss, advance to area playoff
The Lady Buckaroos needed three games to advance to the area playoff. After losing Game 1 Thursday, the Lady Bucks won two straight, to advance to this week’s area playoff against Merkel.
Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, game 2 for noon Saturday, and game 3 (if needed) for Monday, May 9. All games will be played at Jim Ned High School.
Lady Buckaroos pitcher Chloe Whitmire threw 40 strikeouts in three games.
Game 1: Bangs 3, Lady Bucks 1
A sixth-inning walk and two errors spelled doom for the Lady Bucks during Game 1. Whitmire challenged Bangs for seven innings, who needed defensive miscues to take the upset victory.
Carlee Stewart opened the bottom of the first inning with a walk. A wild pitch to Emma Williams allowed Stewart to advance to second base. Stewart scored on an RBI ground out by Williams. The Lady Buckaroos found themselves with two runners on base with one out as Elena Arellano’s walk was followed by a line drive by Joni Jackson.
Through five innings Whitmire threw 14 strikeouts. Jacee Miller opened the sixth inning with a walk. An error at centerfield gave the Lady Dragons runners on first and second. Abby Wolf’s single brought in Jacee Miller while advancing Neeley Bradley to third base. Jadyn Miller’s ground out brought in Bradley to take the lead, and Wolf scored a run following an error. The Lady Bucks’ final six at-bats were retired in order.
Whitmire gave up three hits while striking out 15 batters in the loss.
Game 2: Lady Bucks 9, Bangs 2
The Lady Bucks combined for 14 hits while Whitmire gave up three hits and two walks, striking out 14 batters in the process to take the win.
Two runs during the bottom of the second inning got the Lady Bucks started. Jackson opened with a double and scored on an RBI single by Melton. Melton was brought in with a single by Lydia Quick.
Stewart doubled to open a three-run third inning for the Lady Bucks. Williams followed with an RBI single. Arellano capped three-straight hits with a double. Whitmire’s one-out single brought in Williams while Arellano advanced to third base. Melton brought in Arellano with a sacrifice bunt.
The Lady Bucks added three runs during the top of the fifth inning. Arellano hit a double and advanced to third on a wild ball one to Jackson. A wild pitch to Whitmire brought in Arellano. Whitmire’s at-bat ended with an RBI double, bringing in Jackson. Eugenia Duran entered for Whitmire as a courtesy runner and scored on a single by Ryleigh Cowan.
Bangs added two runs during the bottom of the fifth inning. Quick hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.
Game 3: Lady Bucks 6, Bangs 3
Whitmire threw a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Her 12-strikeout day led the Lady Bucks into the playoffs.
The Lady Bucks took advantage of a pair of errors to score two runs during the bottom of the first inning. Stewart led with a single and was called out at second when Williams grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Arellano reached on an error at third base, allowing Williams to advance to third base. An error in right field on a pop fly by Jackson allowed Williams to score while Arellano advanced to third base.
Arellano scored on a sac fly by Whitmire, and Cowan added a third run following a successful dropped third strike to Cara Schkade.
Bangs scored three runs to draw even during the top of the fifth inning. Mariah Ruiz hit a single, and an error at second base allowed Emily Baker to reach second base and Ruiz advanced to third.
A second error allowed Ruiz to score and Baker to advance. Sierra Lorah brought in Baker on her single. Jacee Miller hit a home run to tie the game.
Jackson, driven in by a single by Whitmire, broke the tie. Mia Castillo and Stewart added a pair of runs during the bottom of the sixth.