Armstrong, Carroll combine for no-hitter

By Ryan Lewis -

The Navajo Lady Indians took the field in Sayre on Monday night to take on the Sayre Lady Eagles in a game that felt like it was over before it really even began.

The Lady Indians got to work in the top of the first inning by quickly plating their first three runs before the Lady Eagles knew what hit them.

Tabitha Armstrong was patient at the plate to begin the Lady Indians’ night, turning strikes into fouls and a seven-pitch at-bat into a walk, before Talayna Petzold took her place as a pinch runner.

Kalee Cross swung on the first pitch of her at-bat and delivered it to center field for the Lady Indians’ first hit of a 14-hit game.

Gracee Bates connected with a double to left field with a line-drive shot and scored both Petzold and Cross. Sayre was able to ground the Lady Indians by getting two quick outs, but during Kara Cooks’ ground out, Bates was able to make it to home on a fielder’s choice to give the Lady Indians a 3-0 lead.

Armstrong looked to make quick work of the Eagles and struck out the first and third batters, while getting the second batter to ground out to the third baseman.

This led to Navajo’s biggest inning.

Sayre’s pitcher struggled with her control, walking two of the first three batters she faced in the top of the second inning. The walks gave Navajo the base runners they needed to make their move.

Armstrong grounded out and Kaylen Carroll scored on a fielder’s choice for the Lady Indians’ fourth run of the game. Brooke Burgess followed her across home plate on a passed ball and and later Cross drove a ball into center field to score Julia Pelletier.

Bates made good contact with her pitch and drove it into left field for a single, scoring Cross in the process. Finally, Cambrie Thornton stepped up the plate and popped a sacrifice fly, scoring Bates to give the Lady Indians an 8-0 lead.

Armstrong continued her solid pitching performance by striking out each Lady Eagle batter she faced, giving the Lady Indians their next chance at increasing their already large lead.

And that is just what they did.

Pelletier reached base on an error by Sayre before a line drive to center field by Armstrong gave her the space needed to round the bases and score. Cross singled to center field and Bates was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the Lady Indians.

Thornton took full advantage of the situation, popping one up by first base and beating the play to the bag and scoring Petzold in the process. Cook flew out by a wild Lady Eagles’ pitch allowed Cross to score and the Lady Indians to take an 11-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning.

Carroll came in to relieve Armstrong and struck out two of the first four batters she faced, walking one and getting one to ground out.

The Lady Indians once again went on a scoring rampage, plating four in the top of the fourth as Burgess, Pelletier, Petzold, and Bates all scored.

Sayre had a final chance to make something happen in the bottom of the fourth but went three up, three down to activate the run-rule and lose the game by a final score of 15-0.

Gracee Bates led all Lady Indian’s batters with a 2-for-3 performance including three runs scored and three RBIs — runs-batted-in. Kalee Cross followed her efforts with an impressive 3-for-4 showing, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Armstrong and Carroll combined to pitch a no-hitter with each pitcher getting two innings to work.

Armstrong struck out five and walked zero while Carroll struck out three and walked one.

The Lady Indians are now 5-7 on the season, took on Snyder at home Tuesday and will face Geronimo at home Friday.

By Ryan Lewis

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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