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Softball: Lady Panthers stay hot – Paradise wins eighth straight, downs City View 5-1

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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Out at Home

OUT AT HOME – Paradise catcher Christina Tipton tags out a City View runner at the plate. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Paradise Lady Panthers continued their hot streak last Friday against Wichita Falls City View – and so did Kendall Candioto.

The junior pitched a complete game, surrendering just one run on two hits. She struck out 13.

Candioto was also the catalyst behind Paradise’s offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk. In the fourth, she launched a two-run opposite field blast to lead the Lady Panthers to their eighth straight victory, as Paradise topped the Lady Mustangs 5-1.

“Coming up to the plate, I knew I was going to [hit a home run],” Candioto said. “It was just a matter of her pitching the right one. I think it was a curveball. I know it was outside.”

Paradise got its first run of the game in the bottom of the third on a fly ball by Kaycee Martin that got caught in the wind. City View’s center fielder was unable to catch it and a run scored on the error. Shortly after, Maddie Terry drove in two runs on an RBI-single into center field.

“I think it’s a solid belief in each other,” said Paradise coach Karin Essig of her team’s winning streak. “I think they’re just having fun because they’re really confident that everyone is going to step up and do their part.”

Candioto struck out the side in the third and fifth inning. She ran into her only trouble of the game in the sixth, losing her no-hit bid.

After giving up an RBI-double that plated a run, Candioto walked the next batter on four pitches. As the batter made her way to first, the ball kicked away from catcher Christina Tipton, and the runner at third tried to steal home.

Tipton quickly corralled the ball and tagged the runner out at the plate, ending the threat.

“That was clutch,” Essig said. “It was a heads-up play by [Tipton]. She’s been solid. Every game she’s getting better and better. She’s a great catcher.”

Paradise moved to 14-3 overall and 6-0 in District 8-3A with the win. The Lady Panthers have not lost a game since March 2. Paradise traveled to Henrietta on Tuesday.

“We’re working together as a team, and that’s the thing we strive for,” Tipton said. “We’re communicating and hitting the ball when we need to, with runners on base. We’re keeping it alive and going. The main thing is trusting each other, and that’s one of our goals.”

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