By Raymond Linex II
Corsicana Daily Sun
For the second time in two days, the Tigers lost a game in which they just couldn’t find much offense.
Mansfield Legacy closed out the bi-district playoff series, topping the Tigers 7-3 at Corsicana High School. The Tigers got two home runs from junior Sidney Kirk, and two hits from senior Raylee Smithart, but not much else.
They struck out 19 times, yet somehow managed to stay in the game throughout.
In two games, the Tigers struck out 33 times out of a possible 42 outs. As a result, Legacy (26-7) is moving on in the Region II-4A playoffs. The Tigers ended their season 19-15.
“We showed our true colors and went down fighting hard,” coach Elizabeth Collier said. “Now we start on Monday building for next year. I’m proud of my team and what they have accomplished.”
A night after stranding 13 runners and falling 9-1, the Tigers got a needed boost to start Game 2. They got out of a first-inning jam when a groundball hit Legacy’s Brittany Walker between first and second. It killed the ball, served as the second out, and kept the Tigers from a 1-0 deficit with two on and one out. Smithart, who started on the mound, got a pop-out to Jordan Bruce at second to end the frame.
In the bottom half, Katy Polk led off with a hit by pitch after falling behind 0-2. One out later, Kirk hit the first home run on a ball that carried like a pop-up, but had enough distance to fly out.
Her second home run was never in doubt. With the Tigers trailing 5-2, she smashed a 2-0 pitch far beyond the leftfield wall. After Smithart followed with her second hit, a double to left field in which she moved to third on an error, the Tigers had some hope.
It had been a long time they had some offensive pep, since Kirk’s first home run, perhaps. At one point, Legacy starter Ryan Wright had sat down eight in a row until Smithart’s single to open the fourth. But, in that inning Wright struck out the side, something that happened to the Tigers five times, including the sixth and seventh innings.
Wright had 13 strikouts, and allowed all three runs.
The Tigers stranded only five runners Saturday, simply because they didn’t have any. Wright and Karlie Milburn had better control than Kendall Potts did in the opener. They walked two in addition to Polk’s hit by pitch.
Polk, meanwhile, had the Tigers’ other hit, a fifth-inning, two-out floater over first. She stole second, but was left there.
Region II-4A Bi-district
Mansfield Legacy 7, Corsicana 3
Legacy 021 020 2 – 7 9 1
Corsicana 200 001 0 – 3 5 2
WP – Ryan Wright
LP – Raylee Smithart
Top Hitters – ML: Courtney Hart 2-3 (sac, 2 RBIs, run), Karlie Milburn 2-3 (RBI). C: Katy Polk 1-2 (run, SB, BB, HBP), Sidney Kirk 2-3 (2 HRs, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Raylee Smithart 2-2 (2B, BB).
Records – Mansfield Legacy 26-7, Corsicana 19-15.
Legacy wins the series, 2-0.