CORINTH — Lake Dallas threatened to score in almost every inning of Tuesday's District 14-5A game against Little Elm. But threatening is not the same as producing.
The Lady Falcons left six runners stranded on base and could not back up senior ace Autumn Graham, who had a no-hitter through five innings before giving up four hits in the sixth — including a 3-run home run by Amanda Fields — for an eventual 4-0 loss.
Little Elm pitcher Lauren Lucas allowed three hits while racking up 11 strikeouts.
"We are definitely good enough to be a top-four team [in district], but our offense is killing us," Lake Dallas coach Amber Tramp said.
Lake Dallas (9-13-1, 6-7 district) needed a win to keep pace with Prosper for the fourth playoff spot with one game to go. It trailed the Lady Lobos (20-6-2, 11-2) only 1-0 going into the sixth. That's when Graham surrendered her first hits of the game with back-to-back one-out singles. Fields quickly followed with her home run to give Little Elm all the cushion it needed.
"You have to give [Fields] credit," Tramp said. "She got all of it. She didn't even have to work for it."
It was a sour ending to the night for Graham, who notched six of her seven strikeouts in the first five innings. The only run she allowed in that stretch came in the top of the fourth when she walked two batters and gave up the go-ahead score on a ground out.
Lake Dallas' best chance to score came in the bottom half of that same frame as Morgan Burgess walked and Haley Golden followed with a two-out single. Lucas struck out the next batter to end the threat and only allowed one more runner to reach base for the rest of the game.
"These girls feed off each other," Tramp said. "You could just see it in their body language tonight when things started getting away from us."
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.
Little Elm 4, Lake Dallas 0
WP - Lauren Lucas. LP - Autumn Graham. HR - LE: Amanda Fields. 2B - LE: Madison Adams, Melissa Ocasio. Records - Little Elm 20-6-2, 11-2, Lake Dallas 9-13-1, 6-7.