SULPHUR — Early in its Class 1A quarterfinal game on Thursday, nothing went No. 4 South Cameron’s way.
But after falling behind five runs to No. 5 Delhi Charter, the Tarpons rallied for 15 unanswered runs to win 15-5 in six innings.
“We are a hitting team,” South Cameron head coach Kellie McKoin said. “I knew that if we could get the bats clicking we would be OK, and it finally came around for us.
“The game is never over and you never give up. They have been fighting since 10 games ago. I am so proud of them and we just look forward to Saturday morning.”
South Cameron (17-6) advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2007 and will face No. 1 LaSalle (27-6) at 9 a.m. today. LaSalle beat No. 8 D’Arbonne Woods 15-0 in four innings on Thursday.
South Cameron trailed 5-3 until scoring seven runs on six hits in the fifth inning. Karlee Nunez scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice and Maeleigh Connor scored the go-ahead run on an error.
South Cameron’s troubles came in the form of illegal pitches. Senior Lexi Jo DeBarge was called for six illegal pitches in the first two innings.
After playing shortstop for an inning, DeBarge went back to the circle and shutdown the Gators over the final four innings. DeBarge finished with 10 strikeouts, five walks and allowed four runs on three hits. DeBarge also helped herself at the plate with a three-run double in the fifth inning.
“We just kept telling her (DeBarge) to keep throwing and try to keep that foot on the mound,” McKoin said. “She hasn’t been called for an illegal pitch all season.
“They said she was hopping. She is a senior but it is her first year pitching. But she regained her composure.”
Cadi Manuel led South Cameron at the plate going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Kate McDaniel finished 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBIs.