By CLINT FOSTER
After finishing the first day of the Mineral Wells Tournament a perfect 3-0, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (15-4) were back in action Friday with a double-header to close out the home portion of the tourney.
The Lady Rams battled strong, gusting winds to split their day two games, 1-1. However, Mineral Wells ended on a high note, walloping District 6-3A rivals Springtown, 11-3, in a game that was called after the fourth inning.
The Lady Rams opened the day against Brownwood at noon in what would be their toughest game of the tournament. The Lady Lions jumped out to an early lead they would not surrender as they handed the Lady Rams their first loss of the tournament, 9-7, despite a valiant comeback attempt from the home team.
Brownwood jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Lady Rams quickly answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Hope Patterson and an RBI double from Allie Stephens.
The next three innings would be a stalemate, as the Lady Rams' defense largely shut down the Lady Lions behind Kelsey Keeton's pitching and the Mineral Wells bats failed to take advantage of opportunities.
The deadlock was broken in the fifth inning, when Brownwood rattled off three straight hits. Despite four total hits in the inning, the Lady Rams limited Brownwood to just one run, making the score 4-2, in favor of the Lady Lions.
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Bethany Allen – who played catcher in the first game of the day – lifted her team with a leadoff triple. Thanks to a sacrifice fly from Keeton, Allen tagged up and scored to cut Brownwood's lead to one, yet again.
In the sixth, both offenses caught fire. Brownwood started things off, stringing together seven-straight hits to extend their lead to 8-3.