RED OAK — For a Lady Hawks team so chock full of talent and brimming with potential, 2017 has been hard lesson after hard lesson — and a test of patience as they waited for the light bulb to flicker on.
Red Oak High School not only nabbed its first district win of 2017 after beating Lancaster High School 15-0 Tuesday at Lady Hawk Field, but it also scored more runs than their last four games combined.
The Lady Hawks, which snapped a four-game skid, earned their last victory on March 4 via an 11-1 rout of Greenville High School. They had been outscored 56-7 by Mansfield Lake Ridge, Summit and Timberview and Waxahachie High Schools.
To say starting hurler Raegan Ferguson was brilliant, though, may be a vast understatement.
She struck out seven batters and walked none, committed no errors and allowed no hits in 10 total at-bats. Ferguson also held the Lady Tigers to an abysmal 18 percent on quality at-bats and finished with and ERA of 0.00 — a vast improvement from her 9.55 district average.
While Ferguson was torturing Lancaster's batters with a mixture of rising fastballs, sliders and changeups, the Lady Hawk batters were doing damage on the basepaths.
Red Oak, which scored all of its runs during a seven-run first inning and an eight-run third, got nine total RBI. Five of those came from the bats of Kaylee McCutcheon (3) and Cayli Carpenter.
The other four came via a first-inning routine ground ball-turned-single by Alexandria Rodriguez that skirted through the glove of Asia Henry and a pair of run-scoring third inning ground outs by Ferguson and Taniece Tyson. Ferguson's sacrifice out made her the game's second-leading RBI leader despite finishing 0-for-2 at the plate.
Lancaster's two pitchers, Brenda Rodriguez and Melissa Lopez, didn't fare nearly as well as Red Oak's fireballer, striking out no batters, walking 10, committing 12 errors and allowing four hits while tossing 94 combined pitches in 2.1 innings of work.
They also allowed 14 total quality at-bats from Ferguson (2), Mireya Colmenero (2), Rhian Carson (2), Morgan Landes (2), Lacy Weaver (2), Carpenter, McCutcheon, Rodriguez and Tyson.
The Lady Hawks will look to extend their win streak to two games when they face first place Midlothian High School at 7 p.m. Friday at Lady Hawk Field. The (12-6, 4-1) Lady Panthers have reeled off four consecutive wins since falling to Mansfield Legacy High School during their 11-1 district-opening loss on March 7.
Their leading power hitter Georgia Capell has hit home runs in back-to-back games.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.