HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL

Lady Bulldogs slip, but in good position with three left

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Kilgore lost Tuesday’s game at District 16-4A-leading Bullard, 7-4, even though KHS had its chances – they had the bases loaded in both the top of the fifth and top of the seventh before Bullard escaped.

As the regular season winds down coach Cheyenne Kirkpatrick’s Kilgore team all but has the fourth spot in district wrapped up, but would love to move up to the third.

Kilgore (15-8 overall, 3-4 in district play) was to host Chapel Hill on Friday night, following the deadline for this print edition of the News Herald, and then finishes the regular season next week (at Gilmer Tuesday night and at home against Henderson on Thursday).

In the loss to Bullard on Tuesday, Kilgore chipped away at a big lead and had a couple of chances to win.

Bullard got a run in the first and three in the second, mainly on “bloop” singles and an error, and took a 4-0 advantage.

In the third, Jaycie Villanueva singled for Kilgore, and Tra’Kaila Graves followed with another. Bailey Hedges followed with another, to score Villanueva, and make it 4-1.

Bullard added two runs in the bottom of the third to go up 6-1, and then Kilgore scored again – on another RBI single by Hedges that scored Graves – to make it 6-2 in the fifth.

Finally, Kilgore’s bats heated up. After Graves, who reached on an error, scored, Mackenzie Cavanaugh singled and Genna Cavanaugh, her sister, also reached. Mack scored on an infield hit by Kristen Wilson, to make it 6-3, and then Genna scored on another ball put in play by Hailee Jo Lewis, to make it 6-4.

Kilgore had the bases loaded, but Bullard got a strikeout and a ground ball to get out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, down 7-4, Hedges managed a one-out single and then advanced on a single by Wilson. Lewis walked to load the bases. But Bullard finished the game with a pair of strikeouts.

Hedges went 3-for-4. Wilson was 1-for-4 with an RBI, and on the mound, allowed four earned runs (Bullard only had one extra-base hit).

Lewis finished with an RBI, and Miah Thomas had a single and a stolen base. Villanueva went 2-for-3, both of them singles, and Graves and Mackenzie Cavanaugh each had a single.

In all, each team had nine hits.

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