By CLINT FOSTER
In a game that was just short of perfect on multiple levels, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (22-6, 6-1) dismantled the Lake Worth Lady Frogs, 15-0, in just three innings, Tuesday night at Kessler Field.
Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Keeton was a third-inning single shy of a perfect game on the mound and many Lady Rams, including Keeton, busted out of hitting slumps as the Lady Rams exploded for 12 hits. After Mineral Wells' second consecutive win, the Lady Rams remain alone in second place in District 6-3A, one game behind Kennedale.
"That's taking care of business," head coach David Tarver said after the game with a big smile. "Score fast, score often, score early. That's the way we like to do it. And we got a near perfect game out of Kelsey."
Tarver kept his lineup the same, but shifted his defensive front for the Lake Worth game to one that many Lady Rams fans may recognize from some late game situations. He moved senior shortstop Bethany Allen behind the plate, Hope Patterson to third and Ashley Valdez to short.
But perhaps the move that was the biggest determining factor in helping Keeton to her one-hit, three-strikeout performance was Tarver's decision to put Addison Singleton back at second base and shift designated hitter Anaiz Mendoza out to right field.
On defense, Singleton took part in three key putouts – making her directly involved with approximately 30 percent of the Lady Rams' defensive plays.
When asked what made him pull the trigger on the position switch, Tarver said, in true MLB-manager fashion, he just had a gut feeling.
"It was just a feeling," he said. "Addison's definitely a hard worker and can play multiple positions for us. There's times when she's very talented in the outfield, very smooth and I like having her out there. Tonight it was just one of those instinct deals to play her at second base tonight and she made two tough plays. It was good to see."