By TONY EIERDAM
All-state shortstop Bethany Allen went four-for-four and scored three runs and pitcher Allie Stephens earned a complete-game win to lead the Mineral Wells Lady Rams to a 7-5 victory over Diamond Hill Saturday afternoon in a District 6-3A game.
The win sets up a chance for the Lady Rams to clinch a share of the district title in the season’s final week beginning today when the Lady Rams host Springtown on Senior Night.
The first pitch will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Kessler Field.
If the Lady Rams win today, it would set up a showdown for first place Friday at Kennedale.
“The first thing we have to take care of is Springtown,” Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said. “We only beat them 2-1 the last time we played, and our girls want to show Springtown they are better than what they showed three weeks ago.
“This team has been waiting to play Springtown again, and I am confident their focus is only on Springtown.”
Stephens, who has not started in the circle in district because of an injury, allowed four earned runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.
“Allie is making good progress coming back from being away from the circle for so long,” Tarver said. “She had not pitched since the first week of March, and she did some relief work in our last game.
“But she went seven (Saturday), and that is a step in the right direction. She did a great job.”
The Lady Rams jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Allen and Reagan Patterson started the first with a single each, and both were driven home on a triple by Chandler Ortiz.
Ortiz would score when the next batter, Hope Patterson, lofted a double to center field.
The Lady Rams added a pair of runs in the fourth for a 5-0 advantage. Molly Clarke led off and reached after being hit by a pitch. Clarke was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Makayla Nance and scored on a base hit by Allen.
Allen would cross the plate later in the frame on an error by the Lady Eagles’ center fielder.
MWHS scratched for a run in the fifth for a 6-0 lead. Addie Singleton led off with a walk and scored after a triple from Clarke.
Each team scored a run in their respective half of the sixth inning as the Lady Rams took a 7-1 lead into the seventh frame.
In the seventh, Tarver put in new players defensively and switched positions with a few starters, but when Diamond Hill swatted a pair of hits to begin the inning, took advantage of a couple of errors and scored four runs, Tarver put the starters back on the field or in their original positions.
Stephens, however, took matters into her own hands and struck out the final Diamond Hill batter to preserve the win.
“A lot of people got to play,” Tarver said. “I also got to see what I have for next year and got to see what certain people can do.
“I got to see some things I want to see, and some girls made some good plays in some areas. But when the game got close I put the starters back in to close it out.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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