Pitcher’s Duel: Crawford, Arrows get upper hand against Lady Bugs

The Fordyce Lady Bugs gave No. 1 seed Lavaca a scare on Thursday, but ultimately fell as the Lady Arrows won a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in a 3A softball first-round game at Regional Park.

Lavaca’s Cheyenne Crawford pitched a one-hit shutout and scored the team’s only run in the second inning.

“She has thrown five no-hitters for us this year,” Lavaca (26-2) head coach Brian Schlinker said. “When she’s on, she’s stout. Usually, we give her a little more run support than that.

“But Fordyce played a good game, too. They’ve got nothing to hang their heads about.”

In seven innings of work, Crawford allowed just one hit with two walks and six strikeouts.

“She is a really good pitcher,” Fordyce head coach David Little said. “She throws harder than anybody we’ve faced this year.

“And even though we didn’t score, our girls really competed hard at the plate. I was proud of them.”

In the seventh inning, Fordyce (17-14) senior Macy Hall led off with a walk. She was gunned down at third when she tried to stretch a sacrifice bunt to two bases.

“When we got the bunt down, I didn’t see anybody covering third,” Little said. “I told her to come but then the left fielder came in and covered third.

“They made a good play and that’s on me. That’s my fault. So I will take the blame for that.”

Senior Morgan Wylie struck out looking to end the game.

“We came out on top just a little bit,” Schlinker said. “But I’m proud of that Fordyce team, too. That’s a good ballclub. A good bunch of kids.”

With one out, Lavaca’s Whitney Brown hit a RBI single in the second inning to plate Crawford, who had doubled, to give the Lady Arrows the 1-0 lead.

“We’ve got some girls that can swing the bat, but we can play small ball when we need to,” Schlinker said. “That one run was big.”

Lavaca had opportunities to add to their lead, getting runners to second and third with nobody out in the third and a runner to third with nobody out in sixth. But Fordyce freshman Adaleah Witt was able to pitch out of the jam without letting another run score.

“We pride ourselves on playing good defense,” Little said. “Our pitcher really buckled down and made some great pitches against a really good hitting team.

“I attribute a lot of that to my pitcher bearing down and making her pitches and our defense coming up and making some good plays.”

Witt gave up one run (earned) on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

“All we really ask is to have a chance at the end and we gave ourselves a chance,” Little said.

Fordyce had a couple of opportunities to score as well. With one out in the third, Zoe Ledbetter was hit-by-a-pitch and Witt walked to put runners on second and first.

A sacrifice bunt by Kayla Kemp moved both runners into scoring position. Macy Moseley flew out to left field to end the threat.

“We had a couple of missed opportunities, but I attribute that to them,” Little said. “Their pitcher was good and their defense made plays.”

Fordyce’s only hit was an infield single to third by sophomore Alyssa English.

For Lavaca, Brown finished 1 for 3 with a RBI and Crawford was 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored. Codie Robertson led with two hits but did reach base all three times.

Lavaca will face the winner of Melbourne vs. Harding Academy today at noon.