Pampa’s season comes to heartbreaking end at hands of Sanger in 4A regional final

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Kynleigh Kirby delivers a pitch against Sanger during a Region I-4A championship game Thursday in Wichita Falls. [Charla Shults/ Press Pass Sports]
With their backs against the wall after a 2-0 Game 1 loss on Wednesday, the Pampa Lady Harvesters gave it a fight to the end Thursday’s Game 2 of the Region I-4A championship, however, it was Sanger getting a walk-off sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the eighth to complete the sweep for a 4-3 victory at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.

The Lady Harvesters, who were making their first regional final in 10 years, end an amazing year at 22-14 overall.

Sanger (37-7) advances to the UIL Class 4A state tournament in Austin. It’s the Lady Indians first appearance at state since winning the title in Class 3A back in 2001.

Game 1

Runs came at a premium in the series opener on Wednesday night at Midwestern State. Both Sanger’s Leala Kloewer and Pampa’s Kynleigh Kirby were dealing in the circle allowing a total of three hits between them.

Sanger struck early in the top of the first. After a walk to Kyley. Cochran, MaKynna Meeks hit a sacrifice fly scoring Cochran for an early 1-0 lead. That score didn’t change until the Lady Indians finally found a hit against Kirby on an RBI double from Piper Lindlau in the top of the sixth giving Sanger much needed insurance up 2-0.

That was more than enough for Kloewer who handcuffed the Lady Harvesters tossing all seven innings allowing only two hits with 12 K’s. Kirby finished with a complete game of her own allowing a hit with three strikeouts and the two earned runs.

Pampa’s Carsyn Hunt makes a catch against Sanger on Thursday. [Charla Shults/ Press Pass Sports]

Game 2 

The Pampa bats came alive in a win or go home situation Thursday.

The Lady Harvesters went up 1-0 in the top of the second when Karina Gonzales delivered a single plating Haili Newton. In the third, Kirby helped her own cause going deep to left field for a solo shot, putting Pampa up 2-0.

But as quick as Pampa got the lead Sanger responded in the home half of the third on a two-run blast by Abby Chapmond tying it up 2-2.

The Lady Harvesters took a 3-2 advantage into the bottom of the sixth before Sanger was able to tie it up once more. In the bottom of the seventh, Kirby was able to pitch her way out of a bases loaded jam; however, the eighth inning was a different story.

Sanger’s Kloewer singled and was pinch ran for by Harley Miller. Moments later, Lindlau doubled giving the Lady Indians runners at second and third with one out. That set up Sophia Troegle who laid down a squeeze bunt down that line scoring Miller who slid under the tag of Pampa catcher Dyer for the game-winning run.

Despite the loss, Kirby once again gave a gutsy effort throwing 7.1 inning allowing three runs with five strikeouts. The senior standout and one of the best to wear a Pampa uniform ends her outstanding career with over 770 K’s for the Lady Harvesters.

Kirby was also 2-for-3 at the dish including the solo home run. Teammate Cambree Dyer went 2-for-3 on Thursday with a double and Mckinley Daniels homered in the fifth inning.

Sanger was led by Kloewer’s eight innings of work with 10 strikeouts. Kloewer (26-4) ended the series tallying 22 total K’s.

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