Softball: Bullard advances to regional semi-finals with sweep of Lady Bears

May 10—LUFKIN — Bullard built a huge early lead and cruised to a 7-1 win over Little Cypress-Mauriceville Friday afternoon in a Class 4A, Region III quarterfinal game that was played at the Lufkin High School Softball Complex.

Friday's victory, coupled with a 10-4 win over LCM in Game 1 Wednesday, gave the Lady Panthers (31-6-1) the series sweep.

Bullard will now take on either Waco Robinson or Burnet in the regional semi-final round next week.

The offensive standouts for Bullard vary from game to game, which is a mark of a solid team. Friday, the Lady Panthers' nine, one and two hitters combined to go 6-11 (.545) at the plate. The trio (Zaylee Zahirniak, lead-off batter Kirstin Malone and Brooklyn Brannen) combined to score four of the Bullard runs and drive in two.

Malone stroked a pair of doubles, Brannen had a double and a single, while Zahirniak collected a couple of base hits.

Bullard led 6-0 after three innings of play, which proved to be ample run support for Lady Panther- pitcher Anistyn Foster.

Foster, a senior, posted her second victory of the series by tossing a complete game and allowing just four hits. She struck out three and walked two.

Only three Lady Bears were able to advance into scoring position in the game. On the flip side, 11 Lady Panthers were able to move into scoring position.

Five of the Lady Panthers' eight hits were of the extra base variety, with designated player Denim Boles launching the big smash of the game — a two-run home run over the wall in left field that came with one out in the third inning.

Boles' bomb scored Emory Baker, who led off the frame by reaching base on a walk.

The Lady Bears end the year with a 27-11 record.