Led by a fast start at the plate and the ability of pitcher Malori Moss to wiggle out of jams, the Chico Lady Dragons captured a bi-district title for the second straight season Tuesday.
They scored five runs in the first inning and Moss held Cross Plains to a pair of runs in an 8-2 victory at Breckenridge.
“It’s always hard to get that first one,” said Chico coach Michael Qualls about the playoff win.
Chico moved on for a rematch with Itasca in the area round of the Class A Region II playoffs Friday at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club.
Itasca ended the Lady Dragons’ season last year in the area round.
“We’re focused on getting some sweet revenge,” Qualls said about the matchup.
Chico looked like it might have trouble reaching the second round early Tuesday. Moss hit the leadoff hitter and gave up a walk to put two runners on in the first. She recorded three strikeouts against the heart of the Cross Plains order to get out of the inning scoreless.
The Lady Dragons responded in the bottom of the inning with the five-spot to grab the lead for good.
“We batted the entire lineup in the first inning,” Qualls said. “That helped us focus a little.”
In the second inning, Cross Plains tried to answer, getting a couple of runners on. Moss then turned an unassisted double play, catching a bunt in the air and then beating a runner to second base.
Moss finished with 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs – none earned – on seven hits with one walk.
Cross Plains’ two runs came in the sixth and seventh innings. The run in the seventh came on a Chico error.
“The one negative is we had four errors,” Qualls said. “We have to eliminate those if we want to continue to advance. But take away the errors, we did a good job.”