The Melbourne Lady Bearkatz rode a complete game from starter Megan Taylor to a 9-3 victory over the Horatio Lady Lions in the first round of the Class A-AA Fast Pitch Softball State Tournament on May 4.
Taylor claimed the field at the Sherwood Sports Complex as her own as she didn't allow a Lady Lion past first base until the fifth inning.
Both squads remained scoreless until shaky defense caught up with Horatio in the fourth inning.
After a walk to start the frame, Lady Bearkat Ashley Brown posted the first RBI of the game on a base hit for Melbourne.
Hannah Rush reached first on a Lady Lion error, and then came around to score as Mandy McCollum's hit was misplayed by the Horatio defense.
A double by Katie Rush brought McCollum around to score and a single from Kagni Gillihan later plated Rush.
The last Lady Bearkat run of the inning was due to the third Horatio error of the frame, giving Melbourne a 5-0 lead.
Taylor kept the Lady Lions off balance with her fastball until the fifth when the Lady Lions scored a pair of runs on a couple of base hits to edge closer, down 5-2.
Melbourne kept out in front as they quickly added four runs in the sixth inning.
Four straight Lady Bearkat singles plated two runs to start the inning, and two fielder's choices brought around two more for a 9-2 Melbourne advantage after six.
Horatio added a final run in the bottom of the seventh to leave the tournament with a 9-3 defeat.
In addition to seven strong innings on the mound, Taylor led the Lady Bearkatz at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
A week earlier, Taylor was named to the Class A-AA Region 3 All-Tournament team along with fellow Bearkatz Ashley Brown, Rachel Rich and Kristen Teague.