67° F Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nerves nagged Westlake pitcher Lindsey McLeod’s mind leading up to her start against Lake Travis Friday night.
McLeod left the opposition shaking in their cleats in a dominant 16-strikeout, two-hit complete game 3-0 win over the visiting Lady Cavaliers Friday.
“I was super nervous – I was getting nervous about six hours before our game started,” McLeod said. “I was just kind of going into it telling myself, ‘You gotta have confidence,’ and if I do have confidence everything else will work out.”
Facing Lake Travis sophomore pitcher Zoe Bacon, Westlake (22-3, 5-0 District 15-5A) coach Haley Gaddis hadn’t seen her team enter a game on edge like they did against the Lady Cavaliers Friday. The Chaps had outscored district foes 50-8.
“I didn’t get that (feeling) till we walked out here and that’s the first time we’ve been nervous playing anybody,” Gaddis said. “Most of the game we were pretty tight. (McLeod) was probably the most nervous of everybody, she was pitching a little tight. That’s a great sign for her to be able to work through that.”
In the two school rivals’ first meeting in multiple years, No. 4 Westlake manufactured a run in the bottom of the first, giving the sophomore starter more than enough to work with. McLeod recorded three strikeouts in an inning three times, including whiffing the side in order in the fourth.
Lake Travis didn’t get a hit until shortstop Riley Cunningham’s sharp liner up the middle in the sixth inning, and catcher Makaela Williamson had a two-out single in the seventh, but McLeod promptly struck out the final hitter to seal the victory.
“Before the last inning I said, ‘Hey how about you let us play a little bit (of defense)?’ and she was like, ‘Nah, I don’t think so,’” senior first baseman Cedar Slovacek said. we know she can get the job done. We definitely feel really confident with Lindsey up there.”
Zoe Bacon aptly shutdown Westlake’s high-powered offense as well, but errors led to two unearned runs in the early going. The fellow sophomore starter gave up just four hits and had seven strikeouts in the district showdown.
“We came in pretty confident,” Bacon said. “We knew we had to hit the ball but (McLeod) isa really good pitcher, props to her.”
Stephanie Wong scored the first run of the game on a failed squeeze attempt, when she was hung up between third and home but the Lady Cavs bobbled the play and the senior scored to make it 1-0.
In the third, Wong reached on an error and  came in to score on a successful squeeze by Slovacek for a 2-0 lead. Westlake whiffed on numerous bunt attempts against Bacon, including Slovacek’s attempt in the first that she missed, leading to Wong scoring.
“I thought, ‘I better get this down,’” Slovacek said. “Because I tried the at-bat before and she kinda messed with me there, but I was glad I could come back and make up for it.”
Slovacek got things started in the sixth with a single, and McLeod helped herself with an RBI double into the left-center gap for an extra insurance run heading into the Lady Cavs’ final at-bat.
“Any team can mount a comeback, especially if your team is playing tight and your pitcher is tight so that (extra run) was super, super important,” Gaddis said. “When you go to the playoffs you’ve never seen these teams before, too, so you can’t be nervous.  They’re just another team.”
With the first round of district play wrapping up next week, both sides certainly have an eye on the next meeting, April 16 at Lake Travis.
“I think me and Makaela have that figured out now and i think we’ve totally got the hitting next game, too,” Bacon said. “We know where we need to go from here. (This game) totally gave us confidence. We know we can hold them, we just need to hit the ball next time.”
The two sophomore starting pitchers should have several more showdowns throughout the years.
“Going into next time we play them, if I get the chance to pitch I know what to do, where to throw now,” McLeod said.
Westlake plays Austin High 7 p.m. at Guerrero Park Tuesday.

Comments

  1. keith says:

    Wish the Westlake football team could duplicate this feat! Way to go girls.

  2. Chapfan1996 says:

    Hey Keith, if beating Lake Travis is so easy why don’t you just suit up with the team and go dominate? If your play matches your mouth you could probably win the game all by yourself considering you don’t think any of us are any good.

  3. And? says:

    Yet another under-handed compliment from the sports genius himself. Thanks for another slight Keith.

  4. Chap Fan says:

    You mean backhanded complement. The girls pitch underhanded. You obviously were not educated by the EISD system.

    And he has a point. Stop the Allman worship. We should have won a ring last year. The Statesman initially thought we had no talent. Turns out we did lack talent, coaching talent. He loses the big ones and people seem to think he’s great. He’s a high school Wade Phillips without the polish. He should have an LT logo on his behind because they own his. And the complete arrogance of a school district employee’s wife (Allman’s) taking pictures of people who complain seems to capsulize the poor fit. And she is so proud of herself she says it in a story in the Austin Paper! He is a high school employee. EMPLOYEE. It’s official, the inmates are running the asylum. Hit the road Jack!

    Thank for being the voice of reason Keith!

  5. VOR says:

    Again a couple of disgrutled parents using an unrelated article to take a shot at Allman. Should have won state this year? Did this Chap fan see Katy, Cedar Hill, Waco Midway, Pflugerville, Hendrickson, and many other outstanding 5A division 2 teams play this year. Allman maximized the talent and results! A semi-final appearance was outstanding. Four years – one state championship appearance, one state-semi final appearance, the only coach to win in Region 2 at the 5A level. Great four years so far. I have heard Keiths issue is personal against Allman, not sure what Chaps fan issue is…. but congratulations to the softball team it has been a fun year so far watching them!

  6. And? says:

    An underhanded compliment and a backhanded compliment are the same thing. And I don’t believe it to be “Allman worship” to take up for the softball team. I really feel like the football bashing has run its course until at least next August. Until then, you can probably find some old message boards to take the pain of your son not playing away.

  7. Boot camp says:

    After witnessing (more than once) the wives of some of the district board members take square aim at parents (and the children of those parents) who speak out at board meetings, it’s apparent the Allman’s wife participated in their boot camp. This from the Austin American Statesman’s December 2012 paper:

    “OK, maybe Allman hears snippets of the discontent, but he perseveres. His wife hears a little more. Like the game where some Westlake fans openly expressed their anger within her hearing range and were caught off guard when Susan turned around and took their picture. Why? “So she’d know who came around and patted our backs later,” Allman said with bemusement.”

  8. Lisa says:

    What does Allman’s wife have to do with this? Thought this was a softball story. Oops!

  9. Boot camp says:

    Lisa,
    Only a little critical thinking required.

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