LADY PANTHERS VS LAKE BELTON
Chandler sharp as Liberty takes game one 3-1 over Lake Belton
By Jerry Michalsky
Kamdyn Chandler allowed just four hits on the night and added two of her own as the Liberty Lady Panthers defeated Lake Belton 3-1 in their Class 4A Region III Regional Final Series opener on Friday evening in Navasota.
Chandler struck out four and allowed just a fourth-inning run to Lake Belton.
Liberty jumped out in front in the bottom of the third inning. Breezy Pantalion and Bailee Slack singled, and then Reese Evans loaded the bases with an infield hit. Catcher Hollie Thomas lifted a fly ball to right field, which scored Pantalion and the Lady Panthers led 1-0.
The Lady Broncos then tied the score with a run in the top of the fourth on an Angie De Leon RBI double.
Liberty quickly answered as Chandler reached on a single, and then Reagan Williamson followed with a triple to score pinch-runner Marina Bourgeois to give the Lady Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Liberty then got a big insurance run in the fifth. Reese Evans walked and then moved to second on a ground out before Kylie Bishop hit an RBI single to plate Evans, and the advantage was 3-1.
That was more than plenty for Chandler as the game ended on a double play with a runner interference on Lake Belton.
Bishop added two hits for Liberty on the night.
Lake Belton evens series with 7-6 win
By Jerry Michalsky
Madison Lux had two home runs and drove in six to lead Lake Belton to a 7-6 win over Liberty in game two of the Class 4A Regional Finals on Saturday afternoon at Navasota High School.
Hollie Thomas gave the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the top of the first inning.
Lux hit a two-run shot in the bottom half of the frame to give the Lady Broncos a 2-1 lead.
Liberty then tied the game with a run in the second on a Bailee Slack triple which scored Maci Beam, who had reached on a single.
Lake Belton then regained the lead with a run in the third and saw Lux come up with the bases loaded in the fourth, and the junior sent a pitch over the center-field fence for a 7-2 lead.
The Lady Panther responded with four runs in the fifth inning.
Slack and Reese Evans each singled, and Slack would score on an error to make it 7-3. Kylie Bishop hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Evans and make it 7-4.
Kamdyn Chandler then lined a single, and a Reagan Williamson two-run homer would follow that up, and Liberty was down by just a run at 7-6.
Shelby Shultz settled down, and the sophomore retired six of the next seven hitters to get the win on the mound and help Lake Belton tie the series at 1-apiece.
Slack finished with three hits and an RBI, and Breezy Pantalion added two hits at the plate.
Lady Panthers Heading to State Again
By Jerry Michalsky
For the third time in five years, the Liberty Lady Panthers are heading back to Austin and another trip to the State Tournament.
Liberty picked the most opportune time to play their best game of the season.
After Lake Belton won game two on Saturday to set up a third and final game and a chance to play for a third state championship; the Lady Panthers racked up 21 hits, played perfect defense, and had Kamdyn Chandler doing her thing on the mound for the third straight game in 24 hours.
That all added up to a 16-4 win over the Lady Broncos on Saturday afternoon at Navasota High School in the Class 4A Region III Championship.
More amazingly, Chandler pitched 12 innings in 95-degree weather, and you can add another 10-15 degrees with the field being turf.
"Kamdyn is a warrior, and she is as tough as they come," said Head Coach Karen Slack.
Catcher Hollie Thomas had two hits and drove in five, and her grand slam in the second inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave Liberty the cushion they needed, and from there on, the Lady Panthers kept adding on.
"Huge spot for Hollie, and she came up big for us," said Slack.
Reagan Williamson then added a solo blast in the third inning to make it a 7-2 game.
In the fifth, the Lady Panthers got an RBI single from Maci Beam to increase their advantage to 8-2.
The Lady Broncos cut the deficit in half in the sixth with a Casey Shultz two-run shot to make it 8-4.
Liberty then busted the game open in the seventh with eight runs.
After Alex Wiley singled, Breezy Pantalion hit a shot to right that the Lake Belton right fielder missed a diving catch, and the ball rolled to the wall. The speedy Pantalion had an easy inside-the-park home run, and the Lady Panthers led 10-4.
Reese Evans had a two-run double three hitters later, and Liberty was on their way with a 12-4 lead.
Chandler pitched six innings in getting the win on the bump.
Freshman Brookelyn Taylor pitched the seventh to close things out.
Pantalion had three hits and three RBIs, while Evans also had three hits and a pair of RBIs.
Kylie Bishop, Williamson, Wiley, Chandler, and Beam added two hits each.
"After dropping the second game, these girls did not blink for a second, and you could see the confidence still in their eyes during the break," added Slack.