But the Ladies of Wylie showed their mettle and beganthe long climb back in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs on a triple and two singles. They gradually chipped away at the Mineral Wells lead until the score was 6-5 with no outs in the fifth.
Until that point, Keeton had done a good job holding the scrappy Bulldogs at bay. But with two runners on base and no outs, head coach David Tarver decided it was time for a change and leaned on Stephens once more.
Stephens couldn't stop the surging Bulldogs but slowed them in the next two innings. Heading into the seventh, the score was 7-6, Wylie.
But Mineral Wells battled back. Two-out singles from Singleton and Anaiz Mendoza put runners at first and third and set the stage for Tabby Santibanez to deliver. Her RBI single tied the game at seven, and after Stephens retired the side, the competition was pushed into extra innings.
In the eighth, Victoria Huffman ran out a bunt to reach first and, an out later, it was Keeton that brought her home with an RBI single.
The score was now 8-7, but the Lady Rams weren't out of the woods just yet. In the bottom of the eighth, it would take more late game heroics from Santibanez to close things out, as she grabbed three fly balls in deep center field to preserve a 1-2-3 inning and the game.
Stephens got credit for the win, but she was first to credit her teammates.
"My screwballs were working, but I had a great defense behind me," she said. "They did awesome."
Tarver said having the ability to rotate Stephens and Keeton when necessary has been a huge plus for his team.
"They both have a different enough style of pitching that if one gets in trouble, we can bring the other one in and the batters have to adjust to them," he said. "That's worked very well for us the past two seasons. It's great to know that when one gets in trouble, the other can come in and shut it down."