Senior catcher Reagan Luedtke drove in four runs and homered in the fourth inning to help give the Midlothian Lady Panthers a 12-2 win against rival Waxahachie in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night at Lady Indian Field in Waxahachie.
Midlothian scored at least one run in every inning and pounded out 13 hits while holding Waxahachie to two hits and two unearned runs in the non-district game.
“We have always been rivals with Waxahachie and it always feels good to come out and get a win on the first one. I told the team that if we play our game nobody can touch us and we proved that tonight,” Luedtke said.
Picking up the win for Midlothian was senior pitcher Meagan Spence.
“I have been catching her since I was 10 years old and we played on a select team. She just did awesome. She trusts her defense and is going to throw the ball and show no one can touch her,” Luedtke said.
Spence struck out five Waxahachie batters, walked two and hit one while allowing hits in the third and seventh inning to Waxahachie freshman third baseman Ariel Ortiz.
“Both of them are seniors and are going to sign and go to school together at Southwestern Kansas. They are both great leaders who get it done with hard work and do everything that is asked of them,” first-year Midlothian head coach Frank Griffin said. “I was really proud with the way we hit the ball tonight. We kind of struggled a little bit in our last scrimmage on Saturday and we came out here and really worked the field, hit it where she was throwing the ball and did an awesome job.”
The Midlothian scoring spree started early as the first batter of the game reached on a error before scoring on a double by Luedtke, who was batting clean up.
As the innings progressed and the Midlothian hits kept coming so did the Waxahachie errors.
Waxahachie finished the game with nine errors, committing at least one an inning.
“The errors were the biggest difference in the game tonight. Midlothian is a good team, but we can not make so many errors and expect to win,” Waxahachie head coach Steve Howell said. “We beat them twice last year so they came in seeking revenge and got it. It is a humbling game but we will bounce back and be ready for the tournament on Thursday.”
Waxahachie is the host team in the annual Mary Jane Eubank Memorial Tournament this weekend with games beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday and concluding at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Midlothian took a 1-0 lead after one before tacking on three runs in the second after Marissa Baltierra and MacKenzie Hunt led off with singles. Savannah Valderas grounded to short to push across Baltierra before a hit to right field by Amanda Claus gave Midlothian a 4-0 lead.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth Waxahachie drove its first run home on a Midlothian error.
With one out in the inning freshman catcher Marissa Hooper walked before an error allowed Katelyn O’Brien to reach base. With two on, a passed ball allowed Hooper to advance to third before O’Brien attempted to steal second.
On the steal attempt the throw to second was wide, allowing Hooper to score easily.
Midlothian answered in the fifth with an RBI single by Hunt before the Lady Panthers added two runs in each of the final two innings.
In the bottom of the seventh Waxahachie trailed 12-1 and scored the game’s final run on a single by Ortiz. Cassie Hayes reached on a throwing error with one away in the inning before advancing to second on a bunt by Taylor Engel.
Ortiz singled to center to push across Hayes but was tagged out at second trying for a double after Hayes had crossed the plate.