By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells senior catcher Reagan Patterson and the Lady Rams felt they had some unfinished business as they approached their Tuesday night District 6-3A game with rival Springtown.
The Lady Rams survived a 2-1 win three weeks ago at Springtown, and the senior leader said she and her teammates felt they had something to prove.
“We wanted to let (Springtown) know we are better than we showed (on March 26),” she said. “We knew we could play better than we did the first time, and we also need this win to play for a share of the district championship on Friday.”
Paced by Patterson’s ninth home run of the year and brilliant pitching from freshman Kelsey Keeton, the Lady Rams blew out the Lady Porcupines, 7-1, and will have a chance to play for a share of the district title on Friday at Kennedale.
Patterson’s three-run blast in the fifth broke open a close game, and when MWHS added three more runs in the sixth it ended any illusion Springtown had about winning the game.
Keeton dominated Springtown, allowing one run on just three hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in seven innings. She was so dominant that she retired the last seven Springtown batters in a row and 11 of the last 13.
“Kelsey is steady,” Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said. “That’s the one word I would use to describe her play, steady.
“She brings it every single game, inning and pitch. She had everything working for her (Tuesday).”
Tarver was also pleased with the 11 hits the Lady Rams produced off solid Springtown pitching.
“We hit the ball better this time against them,” Tarver said. “Springtown has good pitching, but our girls came out and hit the ball.
“This was the Mineral Wells team I have seen in the past years. Everyone hit the ball, and they hit the ball when we had runners in scoring position.”
The Lady Rams took a 1-0 lead in the third when Tabby Santibanez led off with a single and later in the frame scored on a sacrifice fly by Patterson.
Springtown took advantage of a walk and a double in the fourth to score a run and tie the contest at 1-1.
In the fourth inning, junior all-state shortstop Bethany Allen smashed a one-out double to center field, and the next batter, senior Chandler Ortiz, reached on a fielder’s choice that put runners on first and third.
Patterson followed and hit a shot against a 20-30 miles-per-hour wind well over the left-field fence to give the Lady Rams a 4-1 lead.
“I knew it was going out the moment (the ball) left the bat,” Patterson said. “It felt good off the bat.”
MWHS added three runs in the sixth inning for a 7-1 advantage.
Victoria Huffman led off with a single and she advanced to second on an error on the play.
Springtown struck out the next two batters, and after Allen walked, Ortiz ripped a double to center field that plated Huffman and Allen.
Ortiz scored a batter later when Patterson drove in her fifth run of the contest on a single to left.
Keeton finished the job by striking out the side in the seventh inning.
Lady Rams’ 7-1 win over Springtown sets up 6-3A championship game at Kennedale
By TONY EIERDAM
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