GRAHAM — A big reason Sweetwater ended a 15-year softball playoff drought this year was its hitting.
But the Lady Mustangs met their match Saturday, as they were held to two hits by Iowa Park in a 9-0 win that ended their season.
Winning pitcher Peyton Helton fanned 15 Sweeetwater batters without a walk, but Iowa Park led just 2-0 in the Class 3A bi-district playoff until the fourth inning when the Lady Hawks added three more runs. Sweetwater had only three baserunners in the contest, even though Kinsey Browning led off by getting hit by a pitch. The only others to reach base were Suede Shirley, who singled in the fourth, and Jackie Carey, who doubled in the fifth. Maty Montgomery pitched for Sweetwater, allowing four earned runs — but none until a four-run sixth — and 11 hits.
Helton was lifted with one out in the seventh after her 15th strikeout and replaced by Amber Dresler, who got the last two outs for Iowa Park.
The Lady Hawks (25-4), the runnerup in District 6-3A, advanced to the area round this week to face 7-3A winner Burleson Centennial. Those teams will meet Thursday in a one-game playoff at Jacksboro.
“We had good swings and good cuts,” coach Bobby Wil-liams said after Sweetwater finished 15-12. “But that was one of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year. But hopefully we’ve set a trend (by making the playoffs), and we can keep it going next year. Our goal is to win a playoff game and hopefully we’ll do that next year.”