The Melissa Lady Cardinals improved their early-season record to 9-3 with five wins last week, including a 4-2 mark at the Community tournament Feb. 27-29. The Lady Cards’ first two days of this tourney were played at Greenville High School and Day 3 versus Mabank took place at Community. Brief recaps of the all these games are below.


Melissa opens district play on March 17 at Gainesville.


Lady Cards 10, Callisburg 0


On Feb. 25 at the The Z-Plex in Melissa, the Lady Cards swatted 11 hits in run-ruling the Class 3A Lady Wildcats in five innings. Autumn Bell went 3-for-4 at the plate for Melissa while Rachel Wells went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and Kindred Johnson tallied 2 RBIs with a 2-for-4 showing. Bell and Johnson each hit doubles and Maggie Rodgers clubbed a triple in the first inning. In the circle, Bryton Wright went the distance, striking out 12 and allowing one hit and no walks.


Lady Cards 5, Cooper 0


In its tournament-opener Feb. 27 versus the Class 3A Lady Bulldogs, Melissa earned another shutout as Wright allowed one hit, struck out 10 and walked one. Wright also pegged a lead-off solo home run in the third inning for the Lady Cards’ final margin of victory. Bell, Trinity Needham and Kayla Stevenson all hit doubles for the Lady Coyotes, with Needham’s going for 2 RBIs in the top of the second frame. Wells’ triple to right had given Melissa a 1-0 earlier in that at-bat and Stevenson followed with her RBI-2-bagger to center. Time expired in this one with the Lady Cards coming to bat in the sixth.


Lady Cards 12, Celeste 0


Melissa run-ruled Class 2A Celeste in three innings Feb. 27, boosted by Wells’ two-home run, 5-RBI outing at plate and a no-hit performance from Wright, who also struck out seven and walked none. Needham, Wright, Bell and Savannah Rodriguez all doubled as the Lady Cards tallied 10 hits, all told. Melissa struck for five runs in the first inning off Rodriguez’ 2-out, 2-run double and Wells’ ensuing 3-run shot over the left field fence.


Lady Cards 15, Spruce 0


In their third game of the day Feb. 27, Melissa hadn’t slowed down, romping past Class 5A Dallas Spruce in a run-ruled 2.5 innings. Rodriguez and Needham each posted 3 RBIs in 2-for-3 turns at the plate. Needham, Johnson and Peyton Free all swatted a double each. Johnson also pitched this one, collecting four strikeouts and allowing one hit and two walks.


Whitewright 2, Lady Cards 1


The Class 3A Lady Tigers eased by Melissa Feb. 28 on the strength of a 2-out steal of home in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Lady Cards had tied it at 1-1 in the top of that frame on Bells’ infield single that scored Rodgers from third. The game ended due to time limits shortly after Whitewright had gone ahead, 2-1. Wright pitched all 3.2 innings for Melissa, striking out seven and walking none. A solo homer gave the Lady Tigers a 1-0 lead in the third inning.


Lady Cards 11, Greenville 0


Wells smacked a homer and a double for 4 RBIs as Melissa blanked the Class 5A Lady Lions in 3.5 innings Feb. 28. Johnson doubled twice while Needham and Rodriguez collected a 2-bagger apiece, with Rodriguez posting 2 RBIs. Bell stroked a lead-off triple in the bottom of the first inning and Melissa went on to out-hit the Lady Lions, 10-1. Greenville was also hampered by five errors. Wright struck out 11 batters and walked no one as the Lady Cards recorded their fourth shutout of the tournament.


Mabank 1, Lady Cards 0


Moving to Community High Feb. 29 for its final tourney game, Melissa was edged out by the Class 4A Lady Panthers. Mabank’s eventual winning run was plated in the sixth inning when a Lady Panther stole home with two outs. In this seven-inning pitchers’ duel, Wright struck out 14 batters while scattering four hits and walking one. Mabank’s Avery Tomlinson held the Lady Cards to one hit, striking out seven and walking two.