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Lady Dawgs unable to capitalize on early chances

BURNET — Few opportunities for scoring were immediately apparent between the Burnet High School softball team and Liberty Hill Tuesday.

But in the end, the Lady Panthers strung together enough hits and bases to nab the 3-0 win, dropping the Lady Dawgs to 15-7, 3-1 in District 8-3A.

The Lady Panthers recorded a run in the second inning after two outs. Worse, it came when a Burnet outfielder left the game because of an injury.

IN PHOTO: Burnet High School junior Ashten Huddleston works on her batting form. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Liberty Hill added to the lead in the fifth, scoring two runs with a base hit.

Still, the Lady Panthers will have to beat Burnet at Bulldog Diamonds to end the regular season April 23.

“They have to beat us here,” head coach Amanda Carpenter said. “We played well defensively. They didn’t have a whole lot of hits.”

The Lady Dawgs recorded two hits in the game, one from sophomore Courtnie Crouch and another from sophomore Kati Maldonado.

“We had a couple of chances early to score and couldn’t get the big hit,” the coach said. “After we fell behind, it was kind of pressure packed. Now you need three runs with five outs left.”

Carpenter said pitching made it difficult on the Burnet hitters.

“I expected to hit her the entire ballgame, and we just didn’t,” the coach said. “We just didn’t hit the ball.”

At first, she wanted to play Liberty Hill in Burnet but now believes the schedule favors her squad.

“I appreciate that we get to play here at the end of the year,” Carpenter said. “I think there’s always that advantage of playing at home.”

The Lady Dawgs will welcome Vandegrift Rouse 5:30 p.m. Friday to Bulldog Diamonds, 1000 The Green Mile.

The Lady Dawgs have had to shuffle their lineup because of illness, injuries or players participating in other sports.

So to be 3-1 at the end of the first round is an accomplishment, the coach said.

“It shows my kids are resilient,” she said. “I’ve put kids in positions they’ve never played before. I’ve had kids playing multiple positions.”

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