PILOT POINT — On Friday night against Aubrey, Skylar Cagle’s pitching was virtually unhittable.
Cagle pitched a one-hitter in Pilot Point’s 2-0 victory over Aubrey, eliminating Aubrey’s hopes of winning the District 9-3A title and putting the LadyCats one step closer to their second straight district championship.
Aubrey’s bats couldn’t keep up with Cagle. Cagle struck out nine batters while walking only one. Seven of the nine victims struck out swinging.
Lady Chaparrals head coach Shon Ranton had a pretty simple explanation for his offense’s struggles.
“Skylar Cagle pitched one heck of a game,” Ranton said.
Cagle (13-10) pitched her sixth shutout and 18th complete game of the season.
With the victory, Pilot Point (17-13, 7-1 district) remains one game ahead of Sanger (20-5-1 6-2) with two games left. Sanger defeated Whitesboro 2-0 on Friday night.
“We know we have two games left, but it really put us in the driver’s seat,” Pilot Point head coach James Ramsey said. “We just have to make sure we stay focused and finish it off.”
Aubrey is in third place and fell two games back of the LadyCats with its second loss to the district rival.
Kaley Reding (18-5) took the loss for the Lady Chaparrals despite giving up only four hits. Three consecutive hits in the second inning turned out to be the difference in the game.
In the bottom of the second, Preslee Gallaway and Allison Strittmatter each singled to start the inning. Abby Watson singled in both runners to give Pilot Point a 2-0 lead.
Aubrey couldn’t catch up with Cagle’s pitching. The Lady Chaparrals (20-5, 5-3) narrowly avoided a no-hitter. Melanie Funk’s slow-rolling bunt to shortstop was the only hit Aubrey produced.
The other Aubrey base runner was Kirsten Holman, who reached on a walk in the sixth. The only ball that flirted with the outfield grass was Marissa Perkins’ pop-up in the fifth.
“We have to get more contact at the plate,” Ranton said. “We have to attribute that to their pitcher holding us back quite a bit.”
Aubrey kept the deficit at two in the fifth inning when Pilot Point’s Kimber Kuhn was thrown out at home plate from left field after Kuhn tagged up from third base. The double play helped Reding work around two straight walks.
Still, the deficit remained at two for the rest of the night, largely in part to Cagle’s pitching.
“She’s just very competitive, very driven,” Ramsey said. “She works very hard, and that pays off for her. She’s talented, obviously.”
Cagle said the LadyCats came into Friday night’s game pumped up to face Aubrey, which is only nine miles from Pilot Point.
Before the seventh inning, Cagle drew a cross behind the pitching circle and said her prayers like she does before every inning. Then she quickly retired the final three Aubrey batters.