BILL LUSK | WVOW SPORTS
MAN Chloe Treadway tossed a two-hitter as the Sherman Lady Tide handed the Man Lady Hillbillies their first loss of the season defeating Man 2-0 Monday evening at the Man Softball Complex.
Treadway struck out 12 and walked two and did not allow a hit until Trista Marcum blooped a single down the right field line with two out in the fourth inning.
“She hit her spots today,” Sherman coach Terri Dawn Williams said. “She had been struggling, not hitting her spots, but she hit them today and pitched us out of a jam.”
Bailey Lafferty had a run-scoring single to left field in the third inning, scoring Lauren Guthrie, while Hailea Skeens hit a solo home run to left field in the fifth inning.
Lafferty and Skeens had two hits each and Guthrie and Treadway each had one hit as the top four hitters in the Sherman lineup combined to go 6-for-15 at the plate with a double, home run and two RBIs.
“We actually mixed the batting order up just to get Skeens an extra at bat or two,” Williams said. “She (Skeens) is one of our best hitters and Lafferty has been killing the ball this year.”
Shaylee Lewis, the eighth hitter in the Sherman lineup, was 2-for-3 at the plate. The five through nine hitters in the Lady Tide lineup were a combined 2-for-14 with two singles and nine strikeouts.
“We got to get the bottom of the order hitting like the top of the order,” Williams said.
Morgan Cooper pitched well in the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. She struck out 14 and walked one.
“We held them to two runs and that is probably the best hitting team we have played all year,” Man coach Randy Epperly said. “You hold them to two runs, you got a chance, but we just didn’t come through offensively.”
Each team had an opportunity in the first inning but came away with no runs. Sherman was able to load the bases with one out, but Cooper got the final two outs by strike out, and in the bottom of the first inning, Man had runners on second and third with one out, but just Cooper did in the top half, Treadway struck out the next two hitters to keep the game scoreless after one.
Man would strand six runners, four of them in scoring position, and of the 12 strikeouts by Treadway, 11 of them were of the swinging variety.
“Just couldn’t come up with the hit when we needed one,” Epperly said. “We got to change our approach with strikes, we got to choke up (on the bat) and put the ball in play.”
Sherman left eight runners on base, but managed to get eight hits off of Cooper, which was a season high allowed by the junior right-hander.
“That was more (hits) than we expected we would get,” Williams said. “I felt we could have scored a couple of more runs, and we left people on base a lot, but we did have a couple of timely hits when we needed them.”
Ten of Cooper’s 14 strikeouts were swinging strikes, which Williams says is concerning.
“She is a good pitcher and not taking anything away from her,” Williams said. “That does worry me because we got to be able to put the bat on the ball, and that is something we have work on.”
Man and Sherman will meet again April 26 at Sherman. The two teams could meet two more times in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament.
Sherman had lost two of its last three prior to Monday’s contest at Man.
“Always good to come and play a sectional opponent and win,” Williams said. “It was a big win for us, and we did lose two of our last three, but that was against good double-A competition.”
Marcum and Olivia Ramsey had Man’s only two hits. The Lady Hillbillies (5-1) lost for the first time this season.
“Sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed and sometimes you need this so they can see what I was talking about,” Epperly said. “We will change what we are doing when we play them again and I hope we hold them to two runs again.”