Coahoma and Holliday traded blow for blow for the majority of Saturday’s second game of the I-3A Region Finals at Abilene Christian University’s Poly Wells Field.

The Bulldogettes and Lady Eagles were tied 4-4 late in the set until Coahoma got the spark he needed to break the deadlock. Freshman Neveah Kerby scored an RBI double in the sixth inning to give Coahoma a 5-4 lead.

The Bulldogettes didn’t look back as they added two insurance runs in the seventh to win 7-4 and claim the sweep.

The win, just two days after their 5-1 win in Game 1, gave Coahoma their first appearance in a state tournament since 2008.

“Our girls did well, man,” said Coahoma head coach Alexander Orosco. “I’m super proud of them.”

Coahoma's Madison Rodgers prepares to hit a ball against Holliday on Saturday.

Coahoma (32-4-1) entered the game with a solid approach to the batter’s box, as the Bulldogettes finished with 12 hits.

After falling 1-0 early, Madison Rodgers sparked Coahoma’s offense with a solo home run to tie the game 1-1 in the third inning.

“I came to bat knowing I could do whatever I wanted,” Rodgers said.

Holliday responded with two runs late in the third, but the Bulldogettes had an answer. They scored three of four hits in the top of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Holliday, however, scored on a ball passed under the frame to equalize 4-4.

Two innings later, Kerby fired the go-ahead to left field, giving Coahoma a lead he never relinquished.

A freshman batting ninth in order, Kerby showed the poise of a top class as she landed the timely base hit.

“I just wanted to keep going,” Kerby said. “Find a hole somewhere, hit hard. And it worked.”

Neveah Kerby of Coahoma throws at first base against Holliday.

The next inning, Coahoma tackled two insurance runs on three hits to extend the Bulldogettes’ cushion to three runs.

Mistakes on the pitch, however, kept the Lady Eagles in it. Coahoma recorded three errors in the final two innings and finished the game with seven.

The Bulldogettes bent but did not break. They came out of two straight situations to seal the victory in three points.

Coahoma's Christian Everett throws at first base against Holliday on Saturday May 28, 2022 at Poly Wells Field in Abilene.

“Holliday put us in pressure situations,” Orosco said. “It was tough, mistakes happened, but they came out to play. We never let it get away from us.

Rodgers said: “We are a family. We got up when we were down and that’s what helped us win.

Freshman ace Hannah Wells’ outstanding throw also propelled Coahoma to victory.

Wells pitched a full game, allowing just one earned run on five hits. She finished the game with 14 strikeouts.

Hannah Wells of Coahoma throws at first base against Holliday on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Poly Wells Field in Abilene.

Offensively, Kerby, Wells, Brynn Rodgers and Christian Everett each had two hits.

For Holliday, Addison Lindemann took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits. Payton Murray was the Lady Eagles leading hitter with two hits.

The Lady Eagles end the season 32-4.

“It went down like two top teams trying to fight for the state,” Holliday coach Billy Arbogast said. “We were beaten by a team that was twice better than us.”

Coahoma enters the state tournament on a 22-game winning streak. The Bulldogettes swept Wall, Henrietta, Merkel and Bushland in the playoffs before beating Holliday.

They will play in the semifinals Tuesday at Charline and Red McCombs Field at the University of Texas. The time and opponent for this game must be determined.

With just three days separating Saturday’s Game 2 against Holliday and their opener in Austin, the Bulldogettes will try to make the most of a short turnaround.

Karleigh Burt of Coahoma scores Evelyn Perkins of Holliday.

“We have to work hard before the big game,” Rodgers said. “That’s all we’ve worked for and we’re going to win.”

Orosco added: “I’m sure it will be fast and furious, but that’s okay. We’ll take care of it.

Carson Field is the area sports reporter for Abilene Reporter-News. It primarily covers Big Country high school sports. If you enjoy local news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to reporternews.com.


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