FRISCO — Sanger used a heavy dose of small ball and capitalized on Carrollton Ranchview’s mistakes to claim a 5-0 win in Game 1 of its Class 3A area championship series at Lone Star High School on Thursday night.
Sanger (25-5) needs one win tonight to secure the area championship in the best-of-3 series. Game 2 of the series starts at 6:30 p.m. at Lone Star High School. Game 3, if necessary, will be played shortly after the end of Game 2.
The Lady Indians attacked from the start, sending starting pitcher and leadoff hitter Mikayla Stogsdill up to bunt in the bottom of the first. Stogsdill reached on the bunt, then stole second before Morgan Turkoly, also trying to bunt, drew a walk. Nicole Nordie put down a bunt of her own in front of Ranchview (21-8) pitcher Tory Dell, whose throw to first baseman Liz Ahrens sailed into right field. The error allowed Stogsdill, Turkoly and Nordie to all score, giving Sanger a 3-0 lead.
“We work on bunting all the time in practice,” Sanger head coach Jae McMinn said. “This time we were able to execute and take advantage of a mistake.”
Ranchview mistakes played a role in Sanger’s two-run third. Nordie led off with a single, one of her two hits in the game, and advanced to second on Erica Bjorndal’s fielder’s choice grounder. But an error on the throw by Ranchview second baseman Makenzie Frances allowed Nordie to score from second, giving Sanger a 4-0 lead.
Harlee Sliger had the only RBI of the night for Sanger, driving home Bjorndal on a double later in the third.
In all, the Lady Wolves committed three errors, which led to four unearned runs.
Meanwhile, Stogsdill (9-2) hummed along, tossing a three-hitter. The right-hander threw plenty of first-pitch changeups, a strategy that allowed her to set up her inside fastball as she went deeper in counts.
The strategy served her well, with the only trouble coming in the sixth inning as she escaped a bases-loaded jam.
“[Stogsdill] pitched great tonight,” McMinn said. “Our catcher [Victoria Eakman] called a great game. I don’t call pitches. Victoria and the pitchers work very well together.”
The victory enables McMinn to use Nordie (11-2) as the starter for Game 2.
Dell took the loss, but achieved a personal milestone. Dell fanned Eakman in the fifth to record her 1,000th career strikeout.
SANGER 5, CARROLLTON RANCHVIEW 0
WP — Stogsdill (9-2). LP — Dell. 2B: Ranchview — Jacobs, Ahrens; Sanger — Sliger. Records: Ranchview — 21-8; Sanger — 25-5.