Lambert starting pitcher Kassidy Krupit thinks this year's team can be unstoppable.
If Thursday's marquee matchup against rival South Forsyth was any indication, the Lady Longhorns' capacity to keep rolling could have a lot to do with Krupit's live arm.
The junior and Delaware commit led Lambert to a 2-0 victory over last year's region champion on Thursday to improve the Lady Longhorns' record to 6-1 and 2-0 in the Region 5-7A standings.
Krupit finished a complete game with a strikeout and an emphatic fist pump. Her line for the afternoon: five scattered hits, seven strikeouts (including five in the final four frames) and just one walk.
It wasn't that South batters didn't threaten, but when they did it seemed like the next batter to the plate was doomed from the start. Lambert head coach Brooks Youngblood agreed.
“She steps up and strikes girls out in big moments,” Youngblood said. “She's just kind of a gamer, and someone who loves being in a pressure situation, so you know in games like this she's going to step up. When they get girls on base she shuts down the next one.”
South head coach Ronnie Davis had similar praise.
“She's one of the most effective pitchers in the state, I think. She has quality pitches, can place the ball anywhere, so you really have to tip your hat to her,” Davis said.
The two teams were scoreless until Lambert crossed home plate in the top of the fifth. Carlyle Murad scored after pinch-running for Rachel Cowart, who reached on a double, thanks to an RBI-single from Brooke Miller.
Marissa Guimbarda came home moments later after a throwing error from South opened the door for runners to advance.
South seemingly had momentum and was prepped to rally much like it did in many region games last year when Jordyn Harris and Emily Harris reached on a walk and single, respectively, in the bottom of the fifth. Veteran catcher Bianca Mora made fantastic contact on a swing to deep center field, but a would-be go-ahead home run fell just short and spelled the inning's final out.
South starting pitcher Katherine Huey pitched a strong game herself, going seven innings with just five hits, five strikeouts and three walks.
The Lady War Eagles are now just 3-5 and 1-1 in region play, but with each county team facing off three time during the season Davis thinks it's way too early in the year to wonder about losing ground.
“Our biggest thing right now is process, whether it's practice, as a student, whether it's game situation. We've got to go about it the right way,” Davis said. “Our process makes everybody else better. It takes all of us to have success. We succeed together and fail together and that's how it goes.”
South will look to bounce back with a big meeting against North Forsyth on Monday.
As for Lambert, Krupit sees herself part of a confident squad.
“We get to play everyone three times, so we're going to know everyone's strengths and weaknesses,” Krupit said. “But at this point, if we just keep playing the way we have been playing I think we can be unstoppable.”