The Sealy Lady Tigers’ softball team’s season came to an abrupt end against Bay City in the regional round as they were swept in two games. The series opened with game one being played at home for Sealy with Kendall Dornak taking the mound for the Lady Tigers.
The Blackcats struck first in the first inning by taking advantage of early mistakes by Sealy. After they opened the game with a single and a walk, Bay City scored their first run off a single and their second on a fielder’s choice with the next batter. The Blackcats tacked on one more run before ending the inning thanks to a Sealy error.
“We came out a little nervous and allowed some early runs and you can’t allow that to happen early in the game,” Head Coach Brittney Whitehead said. “We made some really uncharacteristic errors and that’s just not who we are as a team.”
The game remained scoreless through the third inning with Sealy failing to put a player on base in that span. The bottom of the fourth inning broke that streak with a walk by Makaylah Scott. The next two batters struck out but after a double by Dornak put Scott on third, Scott scored on a groundout after Bay City’s catcher was called for obstruction at home plate.
Senior Lynnsey Klecka narrowed Bay City’s lead again in the next inning with a home run that hit off the pole in left field. It brought the score to 3-2 with two more innings to score the tying run.
“We finally got our offense going because we figured out that if we just wait on it and don’t chase it at the plate, she’ll pitch us balls and that got us going,” Klecka said. “That home run came because I wanted it really badly and wanted that win so I had to do what it took to get there.”
Neither team scored in the sixth inning and the Lady Tigers again shut out Bay City in the top of the seventh to set up a last-ditch comeback attempt in the bottom of the final inning. Dornak singled to start off the inning and Danielle Bersche followed suit with one out getting on base on an error.
A groundout advanced both to third and second with two outs but Sealy couldn’t capitalize and popped out to end the game.
“Two runs on offense isn’t who we are as a team and we know we have to play better than that,” Whitehead said. “After that first inning we played good defense and Kendall pitched a great game so we just need to make sure we’re executing on both sides.”
Whitehead said her decision to have many of Sealy’s batters bunt was done to get the runner in a scoring position while avoiding a double play and the team had to execute them better.
Sealy traveled to Bay City the next day to play game two and again struggled early on. The Lady Tigers managed to hold them to no runs in the first but the Blackcats struck in the second inning.
A hit by pitch and two singles loaded the bases for Bay City who capitalized on the opportunity with a grand slam home run with two outs. They added two more runs in the next inning to go up 6-0 at the end of the third.
A double by Felicia Aguirre scored two runners in the top of the fifth inning and Sealy’s pitching held strong after the third inning, not allowing Bay City to score another run. The Lady Tigers opened the seventh inning with two doubles to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Aguirre again scored the runner from third on a fly out and Megan Kalinec scored on an error after a ground ball by the next batter. With two outs, Sealy hoped to keep their streak going but a pop out ended the game yet again and their season with it.
The six combined runs over the two playoff games were the fewest the Lady Tigers had in a postseason series this year. Sealy’s starting lineup had four seniors, Kalinec, Klecka, Scott and Madison Luther, and will be returning nine players including seven juniors.