STERLING – Sterling squeezed out a 4-3 win over No. 3 ranked Cyril last Friday despite getting only three hits and committing five errors.
“That’s just the way it went,” Sterling head softball coach Marty Curry said. “We were luckier than they were. I think if we played 10 times, we’d split five and five.”
The win marked Sterling’s 11th consecutive victory as the Lady Tigers prepare to host the Southwest Shootout Tournament this weekend, which will include some of the top teams in Class A such as No. 2 Ripley, Cyril, Hobart, Am-Po, Lookeba and Navajo.
Cyril scored first in the top of the second inning, but Sterling responded with four runs in the bottom of the second, which proved to be the winning margin.
Sterling didn’t use power hitting to score its four runs. Instead, they Lady Tigers had three singles, a Cyril error, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly and a walk to tally the runs. Cyril scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but it wasn’t enough as Sterling held on for the win.
Sterling pitcher Kaleigh Budd gave up the three earned runs on seven hits and struck out one batter. Budd threw 87 pitches and 62 were strikes. Budd also had 20 first-pitch strikes when facing Cyril’s 32 hitters.
“This has been a team effort during this win streak,” Curry said. “We’ve pitched well, and a different kid has found a way to help us win each time. We’re pretty balanced throughout the lineup.”
Morgan Curry, Emma Nunley, Lacy Spence and Shelby Spence each had an RBI against Cyril.
During the Hydro Festival, Sterling defeated Vici 8-0 and knocked off Seiling, 6-1. Curry was the winning pitcher against Vici, allowing three hits through four innings while striking out one and walking one. Ashlyn Clift was the big hitter for Sterling as she knocked in four runs with a triple and home run. Clift’s inside-the-park homer scored three runs.
Against Seiling, Sterling scored two runs in the first inning and another run in the second to take a 3-1 lead. The Lady Tigers tallied a single run in the top of the fifth and two insurance runs in the sixth to round out the scoring.
Budd picked up the win as she pitched six innings. She gave up the single run on six hits and struck out two Seiling hitters.
Shelby Spence and Shelbi Pearson each had two RBI while Budd and Ellie Pierce both collected an RBI. As a team, Sterling stole five bases against Seiling.