SANGER — After a 6-0 win in the opening game of a best-of-three Class 3A bi-district playoff series, the Sanger Lady Indians had their offense clicking, but sloppy defense and some cracks in the circle has given coach Jae McMinn some concern for the rest of their playoff run.
Despite allowing Carrollton Ranchview to outscore them over the final four innings of Saturday’s Game 2, the Lady Indians were able to secure an 8-5 victory at home to advance to the area round.
“We had come apart,” McMinn said. “We played well enough to win, but if we get further down the line and the competition gets a little better, we can’t be messing up on the little things. You’ve got to do the little things right. We’ve got to clean some of this stuff up.”
Morgan Turkoly, who paced Sanger’s offense Friday with three runs, was hot again at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs on a double and a home run.
“She was mad Friday because she wasn’t hitting like she wants to hit,” McMinn said. “She wants to bat 1.000, and she probably went home and practiced [Friday] night after our game. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit, because she puts in the time. She makes adjustments. She’s just a complete player. She’s a hitter and that’s why she’s in the 3 spot.”
Suffering on offense to the tune of 13 strikeouts by Sanger pitcher Kelly Mardones on Friday, the Lady Wolves got on the board early Saturday with an RBI single from Sarah Hausman.
After Jacee Garza led off the bottom of the first with a bloop single to shallow right field, Turkoly’s single drove her in to tie the game at 1. Victoria Eakman, who led Sanger with four RBIs, doubled to right-center to drive in two runs, securing a 3-1 lead after the first inning.
Turkoly led off the third with a well-hit double to left-center and scored on Eakman’s home run to center field, putting Sanger ahead 5-1.
Liz Ahreins drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to get Ranchview to within 5-2, but Turkoly belted a two-run homer to center to extend the Lady Indians’ lead to 7-2.
“If we wouldn’t have got those home runs, we wouldn’t have been ahead,” McMinn said.
Three straight hits in the fifth inched Ranchview to within 7-3 before a dropped fly made it 7-5.
“She pitched better Friday,” McMinn said of Mardones. “She threw too many pitches [Saturday] ... but she pitched well enough to win.”
The Lady Indians (24-8) picked up an insurance run when Garza tripled and scored on a throwing error in the sixth.
The top-seeded Lady Indians from District 9-3A will face Bonham or Dallas Madison in the area round.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Sanger 8, Carrollton Ranchview 5
WP — Kelly Mardones. LP — Liz Ahreins. 2B — S: Victoria Eakman (2), Morgan Turkoly. CR: Liz Ahreins, Ashlie Benjamin. 3B — S: Jace Garza. HR — S: Eakman, Turkoly.