GC Softball: McLeod edges Kerens 5-4

May 3—LINDALE — The Kerens LadyCats saw their softball season end Thursday in Lindale, where McLeod squeaked by Kerens 5-4, breaking up a 4-4 tie with the game winning run in the sixth to win the 2A Area Round title.

The LadyCats finished fourth in a tight district race to reach the playoffs and met No. 1-seed McLeod in the Area Round but it was impossible to distinguish which team was the higher seed in the one-game, winner-take-all format.

The LadyCats out-hit McLeod 9-4 and Kerens ace Rylee Spivey dominated the game at times, allowing just two earned runs while striking out nine. She's only a junior, but she has already put together a memorable career at Kerens, where she won 15 games this season and struck out 224 batters.

Spivey led the LadyCats to the Area Round game by throwing a no-hitter last week in the Bi-District round, knocking out Hawkins 5-0 with a no-no, facing 22 batters (one over the minimum) walking the only Hawkins player to reach base while striking out 16. Spivey, who hit .437, scored 32 runs and drove in 39 runs this season, went 1-for-4 Thursday.

Olivia Holt, who led Kerens all year in hitting with a .545 average with 48 hits an a .875 slugging percentage, went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and scored a run.

Kayla Gonzales, a super sophomore who hit .468 and led Kerens in runs (42) and stolen bases (26), went 3-for-4 Thursday, scored two runs and stole two bases.

Blair Blue, who recently qualified for the 2A State Golf Tournament, went 2-for-4 and drove in a run Thursday. Ella Engel drove in a run and Sarah Massey scored a run.

Kerens Coach Jayson Engel has had incredible success over the years leading baseball and softball teams to the playoffs, where both have excelled with brilliant postseason runs. Engel, one of the best coaches and mentors in the Golden Circle, had another outstanding team this season, a team that went 23-7 before just falling short Thursday.