Creekview coach Chance Cain felt it was the most complete performance his team had put together all season.
“We’ve been playing well in different aspects of the game, but we finally put it all together,” Cain said. “It shows what we’re capable of, and hopefully we’ll maintain our form.”
Cain was especially impressed with Luck’s performance.
“Madison was outstanding,” he said. “She’s been good all season, but (on Thursday) she pitched really well. Kell is a great hitting team, and it took a strong performance from her to keep them in check.”
Creekview (13-6, 6-1) shares the same region record as Kell (10-4, 6-1), but the Lady Grizzlies would hold the tiebreaker should the region race end in a tie. Creekview has three region games remaining, while Kell has two.
Kell was its own worst enemy Thursday, as five defensive errors resulted in runs.
“We had a lot of mental errors (Thursday),” Kell coach Lindsey Faber said. “You always hope that those kind of errors don’t take place, and we need to eliminate them.”
Both teams jumped on the board early in the second inning.
Kell took the lead in the top of the inning when Jill Torres’ single drove in Sierra Shipley, who had advanced to third on Creekview’s only error of the night.
The Lady Longhorns lead didn’t last long, however, as Creekview took the lead for good in the bottom of the second when Victoria Cochran’s single drove in Anna Tankersley and Luck. Ashley Chumbler added another run to the Lady Grizzlies’ tally when she bunted Cochran in, who had advanced to third on a wild pitch.
In the third inning, Kell’s defense began to fall apart.
After Casee Disharoon reached on an error and Kristen Price reached on a single, consecutive wild pitches from Kell’s Sara Howard saw both runners advance twice, with Disharoon scoring on the second wild pitch to give Creekview a 4-1 lead.
The Lady Grizzlies made it 5-1 in the fifth when Chumbler, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, once again bunted in Cochran.
Creekview continued to pile the runs on in the sixth off of a Cynda Tate solo home run.
Another Kell error gave Creekview its final two runs in the inning.
After a single by Annie Conrad, Kell threw home, but was too late to tag out Cochran, who scored from second.
Kell catcher Taylor Colclasure then attempted to throw Conrad out at second, but the ball sailed over second baseman Hannah McKinley’s head, which allowed Conrad to score.
Kell was unable to muster any kind of comeback, and the game ended in Creekview’s favor.
Howard allowed eight hits in seven innings pitched and was credited with five earned runs.
Despite his team’s edge in the region standings, Cain holds a cautious optimism concerning his team’s spot, but he’s quick to point out that first place is by no means assured.
“I’m very happy with where we are, but we’ve still got a few games left,” he said.
Faber was disappointed, but gracious, in defeat.
“They we’re the better team (Thursday),” she said. “We just didn’t have it.”