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HUGHES SPRINGS, Texas — McLeod banged out 14 hits en route to a 13-3, run-rule win over Rivercrest in a Class 2A, bi-district playoff game on Saturday at Lady Mustang Field.

"The girls hit the ball well, and I'm very proud of them," Lady Longhorn head coach Steve Venable said. "

Kaitlyn Cross earned the win, tossed all five innings, allowed three runs on four hits, struck out six, walked one and hit two batters.

"Kaitlyn did good, and she always comes out and throws well," Venable said. "She throws a lot of strikes, and I'm super proud of the way she battles. We had some defensive hiccups in the fourth inning, and she battled right through it.

"I was most proud of the level of intensity and the encouragement that came from every other girl who was not at bat. The team camaraderie really came together. The girls fought hard, and I am super proud of their teamwork."

The Longhorns put up eight runs in the second inning on six hits. With two runners on, Jacey Finlayson smacked an RBI double to center to make it 2-1. Ella Lambeth singled to right field as two runs crossed, and Kaitlyn Cross had a 2-run single to left center to give McLeod a 6-1 edge. Jessica Lawson had an RBI single to left, and another run crossed on a popup. Cary May's RBI single to right center padded the Longhorn lead, 9-1.

Lawson walloped a 2-run single to center as McLeod grabbed a tremendous 11-1 advantage in the third frame.

Finlayson ripped a single to right field to increase the Longhorn lead in the fourth, 12-1. Rivercrest (10-15) responded with a 2-run single in the fourth to bridge the gap, 12-3.

Cross, who was hit by a pitch, scored what would be the winning run on a fielder's choice in the fifth inning.

Cross slapped an RBI single through the hole at short to give McLeod an early 1-0 lead in the first frame. Stormy Johnson and Lambeth each had singles in the first. Rivercrest responded with an RBI single to knot the game at 1-all after a frame of play.

McLeod (15-4) will play either Frankston or Overton a Class 2A area round playoff game this week.

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