Although formed just seven years ago, Latexo's softball program has come a long way, winning games and reaching the playoffs this year.
Facing the Alto Lady Jackets in a bi-district matchup at Crockett on Thursday night, the Lady Tigers collected a 6-3 win to advance to the area round. They will face either Groveton or Zavalla, who are playing a best of three series.
The Lady Tigers came to play and took care of business. Gracie Zalesky was in the circle the entire game, collecting seven strike outs while giving up six singles and two walks. The rest of the defense also had a great game as they held Alto to three runs and only committed one error.
Shortstop Shayla Creswell was on her game making several great plays along with centerfielder Chaice Short. First baseman Ashlyn Brazzil kept busy from fielding throws along with stopping hits herself.
Leftfielder Carolyn Townsend along with right fielder Alexa Knight caught fly balls with each infielder doing their job. Along with Creswell and Brazzil the other infielders made some great plays-- Brooke Ashley at second, Kelsey Kilian at third, Makayla Gunnels catching and Gracie Zalesky taking charge in the circle.
In the bottom of the first, the Lady Tigers scored their first run after Ashley led off with a single to leftfield, stole second on a passed ball and scored when Kilian was thrown out at first. Next two outs were from Gunnels and Zalesky.
After being shut out in the second, Latexo added two more runs in the third as Townsend led off with a walk, Short was out, Ashley singled, and Kilian was out. Gunnels hit a line drive down third base line, scoring Townsend and Ashley for two more runs, but was left stranded.
Alto kept the Tigers from scoring in the fourth although they had base runners.
In the fifth, the Tigers were hungry as they plated three more runs. Leading off was Short, who was out on a good throw to first. Ashley followed with a single and with a full count Kilian drew a walk. With two on base, Gunnels stepped to the plate and on the second pitch slammed a long ball over left centerfield fence to score three more runs for Latexo
In the sixth, the Lady Tigers left Ingle and Townsend on base.
After giving Alto one run in the sixth, Zalesky struck out the leadoff batter in the seventh, gave up a single and a hit by pitch.
As Latexo fans cheered, the next batter flew out to right field for the second out. With fans now on their feet, the last out was made and the team-- along with the fans-- knew the Lady Tigers came to play hard.
Latexo was led at the plate by Ashley, who was 3-for-4 with three singles; Gunnels, 2-for-3 with a homerun and four RBI, and Ingle 2-for-3 with two singles.
Ashley and Townsend each scored two runs, while Kilian and Gunnels each crossed home plate once. Angeleah Benton was the courtesy runner.