MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas — Anijah Gray tossed a 2-hitter to power DeKalb over Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, 5-1, in Game 1 of a 3-game series of a Class 3A, bi-district playoff softball game at Lady Devil Field on Wednesday.
"We played very, very well," Lady Bears (12-7) head coach Kaci Price said. "We came out and held our defense down. Anijah pitched great tonight. Overall, I am very proud of the girls. They worked hard tonight. They had some great catches and some great plays in the infield."
Gray earned the win, threw a complete, 7-inning game, struck out eight and walked six. The only Devil run came on an error and was an unearned run for Gray.
"Anijah is a go-to kid," Price said. "She does everything that I ask her to do. I completely trust her on the mound; that's why she's there. I trust the defense behind her. They all work well together. Anijah puts the ball in play, and they care of it."
Malley Obenoskey opened the Bears' fifth with a single to short right field, and Gray bunted on safely to put two on with no outs. Bailey Barger bunted on with a single. Hanna Mullins took first on a fielder's choice, and two runs scored on a Chapel Hill throwing error. Madison Taylor smacked an RBI double to left to pad DeKalb's lead, 3-0.
Sam Prince, who went 2 for 3 with a pair of singles, led off the Bears' sixth frame with a single to right center. Emily Barrett singled to put two on with no outs. Prince and Barrett each moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Prince scored on a passed ball to give DeKalb a 4-0 edge.
Barrett slid head first and scored on a wild pitch to extend the Bears' lead, 5-0.
Prince led off DeKalb's second frame with a single to right center. Prince stole second and third, but Chapel Hill got out of the jam when the next three Bear batters struck out.
Hanna Mullins, who walked, and Madison Taylor, who hit an infield single, put two on for the Bears with an out in the first frame. Both runners weere left stranded after the next two batters struck out swinging.
Mullins landed safely at first on a Devils' fielding error with an out in the third. Mullins stole second and moved up to third on a wild pitch. DeKalb was in position to score, but the next two batters struck out to end the top part of the inning.
Emma Paysley, who walked in the seventh for Chapel Hill, scored on a throwing error for the Devils' only run of the game.
The Bears are back in action at Lady Bear Field at 5 p.m. on Friday against Chapel Hill in Game 2 of the series. If needed, a Game 3 will follow 30 minutes after Game 2.