ABILENE — The Coahoma Bulldoggettes continued their push into the Region I-3A bracket in dominating fashion on Saturday, eliminating Henrietta 10-0 in five innings in a one-game area playoff at Cooper High School.
Hannah Wells threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Karleigh Burt was 1 for 2 with a two-run homer to lead Coahoma (26-4-1) which advances to face Merkel (25-2) in the regional quarterfinals.
The win was the 15th straight win for Coahoma and the 11th time the Bulldoggettes have produced double-digit scoring in that span.
Coahoma erupted for six runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning and never looked back. Madison Rodgers tripled and Wells provided a two-run double during the outburst, which provided Wells with more than enough offense to get the win.
“Our goal was to jump out in front and to not leave any runners on,” said Coahoma coach Alex Orosco, whose team has yet to lose to a Class 3A club this year. “We knew they would be tough, so we had to put the ball in play.”
Whatever hopes Henrietta may have had to mount a comeback soon evaporated with a pair of two-run outbursts from Coahoma. The first came in the fourth inning with a two-run homer from Burt to score Rodgers and push the lead to 8-0.
The Bulldoggettes struck again in the fifth with two runs on two hits, including RBI base hits from Rodgers and Nevaeh Kerby for a 10-0 advantage.
Wells then brought the mercy rule into play with a fifth-straight shutout inning. She allowed only one base hit — a first-inning single by Kylee Seward.
Henrietta’s Kirstyn Barnard took the loss, allowing 10 runs (all earned) on eight hits, with five walks and five strikeouts.
Coahoma is now bracing for Merkel —one of the Big Country’s top Class 3A teams, which eliminated Breckenridge 4-2 in 12 innings on Saturday. The series will feature Coahoma’s deep pitching staff of Wells, Makayla Calvio and Avery Rodriguez against Merkel standout Josie Whitehead, who fanned 25 Breckenridge hitters in two games.
“Merkel is good and they’re hungry,” Orosco said. “They were knocked out early last year. So they’re coming for it and we have a challenge — a big challenge ahead of us.
“We’ll prepare as best we can and try to get after it, but they’re going to be tough.”
CLASS 3A AREA ROUND
COAHOMA 10, HENRIETTA 0
COAHOMA: Hannah Wells and Karleigh Burt. HENRIETTA: Kirstyn Barnard and Kylee Seward. W — Wells. L — Barnard. S — none. 2B — Coahoma: Wells (2), Madison Rodgers. 3B — Coahoma: Rodgers. HR — Coahoma: Burt
Records — Coahoma (26-4-1) vs. Henrietta (21-9)