Mineral Wells Index
By CLINT FOSTER
It was over shortly after it started.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (19-5, 3-0) annihilated the Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles, 15-0, in three innings, Friday evening at Kessler Field. Mineral Wells dominated every phase of their third District 6-3A contest of the season and gave themselves a solid warmup before league play gets ramped up a notch against rival Springtown, Tuesday.
"The only way to say it is it's nice to see us getting back to hitting the ball square," head coach David Tarver said after the brief game. "We were seeing it good, hitting it good. It was good to see their focus and attention. It was fun."
The Lady Rams had perfect nights at the plate as Bethany Allen, Hope Patterson and Allie Stephens each went 3-for-3 with a bushel of RBIs and extra base hits.
Patterson drove in four runs, including a towering three-run homer over the left field fence in the first inning to break out of her hitting slump in a big way.
Allen had two RBIs and three runs and was a home run away from a cycle, as the game ended before she had the chance to go yard. Despite posting a ridiculous .642 batting average so far this season, her first home run has been particularly elusive.
"It's coming," she joked after the game. "Hopefully."
Stephens' perfect night at the plate featured a triple, two RBIs and two runs. She was even more lethal on the mound, earning the shutout win to go along with seven strikeouts and only allowing one hit and a walk.
The direction of the game was clear right off the bat. After Stephens struck out each of Diamond Hill's first three hitters, the Lady Rams exploded with an 11-run inning in which eight of nine Lady Rams reached base at least once.
Things cooled off a smidge in the second frame, but Mineral Wells exploded once more with a four-run bottom of the third to put the game away for good.
By the final gun, eight Lady Rams had registered at least one hit and scored at least once and every player in the lineup had reached first base. It was the kind of dominant team effort Tarver was looking for heading into a potentially challenging next week of district play against Springtown and Kennedale.
Although the Lady Rams have already bested the rival Porcupines in two tournament games this year by a combined score of 19-6, Tarver said it is imperative that they not become complacent now that the game really counts.
"Springtown's a trap game," he said. "We've already played them twice this year in tournaments and beat them soundly both times. We can't let that be a distraction.
"Beating a team consistently, over and over, throughout a season is difficult. As long as we come in mentally sharp and focused and play like we're the better team, then I'm excited about Tuesday night and going and playing a great game against Springtown."
So long as the Lady Rams are on top of their game, they can handle Springtown to set up a heavyweight bout with Kennedale for first place in District 6-3A.
But first thing's first: improving that Springtown rivalry record to a perfect 3-0 in 2014.
First pitch of the Springtown game is set for 7:30 p.m, Tuesday, at Kessler Field.