Union Lady Jackets blank Houlka twice
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
April 14, 2002
UNION For two games Saturday afternoon, the number never changed on Houlka's side of the scoreboard as the Union Lady Jackets swept their first-round series in the Class 1A/2A state fast-pitch softball playoffs.
Marley Smith and Lindsey Cassel kept tossing goose eggs at the Lady Wildcats as Union took the series 7-0, 8-0 at Laird Park.
Smith (11-3) threw a two-hit shutout in the opener, striking out five and walking three. All three walks were to leadoff batter Jenni Cross.
Cassel (7-4) also tossed a two-hitter in the second game, striking out four with no walks.
The Lady Jackets struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning of the opener and added single runs in the second and fourth frames before scoring twice in the fifth.
Loren Kennedy led off the bottom of the first with a single and scored when Smith's sacrifice bunt was mishandled by two different Lady Wildcats. Smith ended up on third and scored on a single by LaSaundra Harrison, who came home on a ground out by Tiffany Thomas.
Union turned two sacrifice bunts by Morgan Breland and Kennedy into a run in the second inning and another sacrifice bunt by Morgan Milling into a run in the fourth.
Lauren White had two singles for Union. Cassel had a triple, while Kennedy and Harrison both had a single to account for the Lady Jackets' five hits off Savanna Hillhouse. Hillhouse walked four and struck out three. Thomas had two RBIs.
Hillhouse and Lindsey Davidson both had a single for Houlka's two hits off Smith.
Union took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first in the second game on a two-run single by White.
After picking up another run in the third, the Lady Jackets extended their lead to 6-0 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth with White adding another two-run single.
Union had six hits off losing pitcher Blair Easley. White, Harrison, and Kennedy each had two singles with Smith and Lindsey Walker both having a single. Kennedy scored three runs.
Hillhouse had two singles to account for Houlka's only hits off Cassel. The Lady Jackets committed only one error in the two games.
Union improved to 21-8, tying the school record for wins set last year. The Lady Jackets will face Hamilton on the road for a single game Thursday before hosting the remainder of the second-round series Saturday. Hamilton swept New Site Saturday.
Easley issued eight walks as Houlka finished 11-7.