PILOT POINT — Neither starting pitcher in Monday night’s District 12-2A game between Pilot Point and Leonard made it to the third inning, but it was for two drastically different reasons.
While Pilot Point ace Preslee Gallaway faced just six batters over the first two innings — striking out three and not surrendering a hit — the Lady Tigers’ Kerbi Chennault was pulled after the Lady Cats scored nine runs in the second inning en route to a 13-0 win in five innings.
“It was good to get the bats going early,” Pilot Point coach James Ramsey said. “We’ve still got to get a lot better. As we like to say, this [district] is a marathon and not a sprint. We want to peak at the right time.”
The Lady Cats (20-5-1, 8-0 district), the defending Class 2A state champs, are the lone unbeaten team in the district and have scored 10 or more runs in three of their last five district games.
On Monday as the team racked up 11 hits, eight through the first two innings. Gallaway was 2-for-2 with a triple, a home run and two RBIs. She also walked once and reached on an error. Teammate Ashton Malone drove in four runs, finishing 2-for-3 with a double.
After scoring its first run on a Leonard throwing error at home plate in the second inning, Pilot Point got back-to-back RBI singles from Natalie Larson and Brittnee Gillespie. A second error plated another run for Pilot Point, before Allison Strittmatter made it 5-0 with a single.
All five of those runs came with one out. The Lady Cats scored four more runs with two outs in the same inning, including a two-run single by Malone.
Leonard (6-11, 2-5) brought in Cheyenne Vandertuin to pitch the third inning, but the damage had already been done. Pilot Point pushed its lead to 11-0 in the third off a two-run double by Malone. Gallaway then added a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Leonard finished with four errors and managed just three baserunners.
“It was nice to get on the board early, that’s for sure,” Ramsey said. “On Friday [a 4-0 win against Sunnyvale], it was like pulling teeth to bring home some runs.”
As dominant as Gallaway’s pitching was for Pilot Point, Ramsey said she didn’t get the win because she wasn’t on the mound for the majority of innings played. Freshman Mercedez Lane was credited with the victory after pitching the final three innings. She gave up two hits while striking out three.
Pilot Point 13, Leonard 0 (5)
Leonard 000 00 — 0 2 4
Pilot Point 092 20 — 13 11 1
WP — Mercedez Lane. LP — Kerbi Chennault. HR — PP: Preslee Gallaway. 3B — PP: Preslee Gallaway. 2B — PP: Ashton Malone. Records — Pilot Point 20-5-1, 8-0; Leonard 6-11, 2-5.