By CLINT FOSTER
GLEN ROSE – It was the type of stuff people make movies out of.
The heat radiated off of the turf softball field on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Glen Rose, Texas, when junior catcher Hope Patterson stepped up to the plate for the Mineral Wells Lady Rams in about the most clutch situation imaginable.
The Lady Rams had already dropped the second game of their best-of-three series with the District 7-3A champion Glen Rose Lady Tigers earlier that afternoon, forcing a rubber match with the winner advancing to the third round of the playoffs as an area champion and the loser seeing a promising campaign come to a close.
After the Lady Rams jumped out to an early 2-0 first-inning lead, the Lady Tigers had clawed their way back into a 2-2 tie. Now, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Patterson was the only batter standing between Glen Rose and extra innings.
With two outs and senior Bethany Allen representing the go-ahead run at third base, Patterson gave all of Mineral Wells reason to hope.
She crushed the first pitch she saw, sending the yellow ball careening high in the cloudless Texas sky and well over the left field wall. Her eighth homer of the season was a walkoff, securing a second straight area championship for the Lady Rams in dramatic fashion and setting up a third-round matchup with third-ranked Liberty Hill Panthers.
"It felt freaking awesome," Patterson said, recalling when the home-run ball came off her bat. "I was just swinging at anything that was a strike, hoping I would get a hold of it.
"I love hitting home runs, especially walkoff home runs in serious situations like that. It's fun. It makes memories."