By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells freshman pitcher Kelsey Keeton allowed only one hit with no walks and eight strikeouts to lead the Lady Rams to a convincing 11-1 victory over the Castleberry Lady Lions Friday night in a District 6-3A game at Kessler Field that was called in the bottom of the fifth due to the 10-run rule.
Keeton has done a number on the Lady Lions this year.
In 14 innings against Castleberry, she has given up no earned runs and just three hits while striking out 19 batters.
“Kelsey hit all of her spots and had command of all of her pitches,” Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said. “She also does not get rattled – nothing seems to bother her.”
Tarver was also pleased with the Lady Rams’ hitting.
MWHS pounded 11 hits – including three by senior second baseman Chandler Ortiz – and senior catcher Reagan Patterson swatted her eighth round-tripper of the season.
“Reagan is on fire,” Tarver said. “She is having a special senior season.
“It was also nice to see Chandler hitting the ball hard. She seems to have gotten her stroke back.”
The Lady Rams jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings.
In the first inning, Allen reached on an error, and two batters later Ortiz reached on an infield hit.
The next batter, sophomore third baseman Hope Patterson, stroked a hard-hit ball Castleberry was unable to come up with that drove in Allen and Ortiz.
In the second frame, junior center fielder Makayla Nance walked with one out, and two batters later Allen singled to put runners on first and second.
Reagan Patterson followed with a three-run homer well over the left-centerfield fence for a five-run cushion.
Meanwhile, Keeton was mowing down Lady Lions. She recorded six strikeouts in the first three innings as Castleberry hit only one ball out of the infield.
But in the fourth, Castleberry notched an unearned run.
The Lady Lions produced their only hit of the contest on a double, and that runner scored with two outs on an error to cut the Lady Rams’ lead to 5-1.
But the run meant little as MWHS came back in the bottom of the frame and scored four runs for a 9-1 advantage.
Allen (single), Ortiz (single), Hope Patterson (single) and Keeton (single) each drove in runs in the fourth.
MWHS closed the scoring with a pair of runs in the fifth.
The game-ending hit was a two-RBI single by Ortiz that plated Nance and Tabby Santibanez.
By TONY EIERDAM
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