Harleton’s Phillips pitches perfect game to end Hubbard’s season

(Daily Sun Sports Facebook / Keith Speer)
(Daily Sun Sports Facebook / Keith Speer)
AUSTIN – Harleton freshman pitcher Randi Carol Phillips threw a perfect game in the Class 1A state tournament semifinals and sent Hubbard home with a 5-0 loss at the University of Texas’ McCombs Field on Wednesday.

The UIL is researching its record book to learn if Phillips’ outing was the first perfect game in state tournament history. The governing body is certain, however, Harleton’s 5-0 win against Hubbard in the state semifinal was the first of its kind since it moved the pitching circle from 40 feet in front of the plate to 43 feet in 2011.

It was the 12th no-hitter in the tournament’s history.

“When you ask me what happened,” Hubbard head coach Mike Saucke told the Corsicana Daily Sun. “Harleton. That’s what happened to us. Right there, you just saw the next Class 1A state champions of Texas. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.”

Phillips (16-3) was backed up by an offense that produced 10 hits and a defense that swallowed up everything that had a chance to go for a Hubbard hit.

“My defense was working super, super well,” Phillips said. “We all had our heads in the game and we were trusting everybody. The offense meant a whole lot. It makes it so much easier when you’re up two after two.”

All of the Ladycats’ runs came with two outs against Hubbard senior pitcher Olivia Curtis (24-5), a University of Mary Hardin-Baylor signee.

Curtis would have been out of the second inning but Morgan Bullock beat out a routine grounder to short. There wasn’t an error, just a very close call at first that gave Dana Cooner a chance to hit a two-out two-run single up the middle.

Harleton scored a run in the third on back-to-back two out doubles, and both fly balls had a chance to be caught. Harleton’s final two runs came in the sixth, and only one was earned.

“Things just didn’t go our way,’’ Curtis said. “It was a blur when I think back on the game. We just couldn’t get that first hit. The momentum just wasn’t there.”

The best chance they had came in the final inning, when Curtis hit a flare that looked like it could fall into short left field until shortstop Kaylee Knowlton reached up made the over-the-shoulder catch. Moments later, Taylor Pyland pulled in Kate Saucke’s final grounder.

Harleton will play Weimar for the Class A crown Thursday at 3 p.m.

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