n Smithville’s fast start, ace pitcher too much for Houlka to overcome
By Adam Gore
HOULKA – Against a lineup filled with big hitters, Smithville ace Kami Roberts kept the Houlka Lady Wildcats’ bats quiet in the opening game of the Class 1A fastpitch softball state semifinals.
Roberts struck out 10 while giving up five runs on four hits and six Lady ‘Noles errors in five innings of work in a 14-5 win over Houlka on Thursday.
The offense cranked out 14 hits including a trio of singles and a pair of RBI from Lakin Wigginton while the opportunistic Lady ‘Noles turned six Lady Wildcat errors into six runs.
amp”We were prepared, but mentally and physically we fell apart … we just couldn’t make the plays when we needed to,amp” said Houlka head coach Vickie Homan.
Smithville (25-2) jumped out to a 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third before Houlka (12-8) finally adjusted to the speed of Roberts to manufacture four runs on two-run singles from Candiace McIntosh and Marissa Hobson.
The two teams battled to an 8-4 contest until Smithville was able to put the game away scoring a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Jordan Northington.
It was quick turnaround for both teams as game two shifted to Houlka on Friday but the Noles made the most of the trip as they shut out the Lady Cats 10-0.
The Houlka girls season ended sooner than they may have liked but on a positive note. After winning only one game in the 2008 campaign, they rallied for 2009 with a 12-9 record and a trip to North Half finals to put them back on a positive track.