By TONY EIERDAM
KENNEDALE – It was a day of hope for both the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team and Rams baseball team as each traveled here Friday seeking shares of their respective district championships.
Both teams came into the Friday contests one game behind league-leading Kennedale, but after Friday night’s games both MWHS teams will have to settle for second place.
The Lady Rams fell 8-1 to the state-ranked No. 3 Lady Kats, while the Rams fell just short in a 3-2 loss to the No. 7 Wildcats.
The Lady Rams finish district play with an 8-2 record, while the Rams finish league play at 7-3.
Both the Lady Rams and Rams will enter the Class 3A playoffs as second seeds in the district.
Kennedale scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to come from behind and defeat the Rams.
The Rams had taken a 2-0 lead with a run in the opening frame and another in the third inning.
Brandon Martinez scored in the first inning for a 1-0 lead off an Aaron Wheeler ground ball Kennedale could not handle.
The Rams extended their lead to 2-0 in the third. Kristian Santibanez led off with a single and scored on a base hit by Braxton Allen.
Meanwhile, pitcher Matt “Moose” Tincher was having his way with the ‘Cats. Through six innings Tincher had allowed only one hit while striking out 13 batters with no walks. Tincher would finish with 14 strikeouts.
But in the bottom of the seventh inning Kennedale’s lead-off hitter reached on an error and the next batter followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Tincher struck out the next batter as the Rams were just two outs away from a co-championship and a tiebreaker game for the district’s top seed.
But Kennedale’s Brett Taylor smashed a double to score two runners and tie the score at 2-2.
The next batter, Josh Taylor, singled to center field to plate Brett Taylor for the walk-off win.
The Lady Rams fell behind 5-0 after two innings as Kennedale ripped nine hits, including three extra-base hits.
The Lady Rams cut the lead to 5-1 in the top of the third frame.
Tabby Santibanez hit a one-out double and scored two batters later on a base hit from Reagan Patterson.
But with two outs Kennedale pitcher Kaitlyn Leeds struck out the next batter to end the brief rally. Leeds would finish with 13 strikeouts while allowing just four hits.
Kennedale added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to close the scoring.
Pitcher Kelsey Keeton took the loss in the circle, allowing five earned runs on 13 hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 5-1/3 innings.
Allie Stephens came on in relief in the sixth, allowing a hit with one strikeout in 2/3 innings.
The Lady Rams will play Graham, the third-place team form District 5-3A, in the bi-district playoffs.
Date, time and location will be announced early next week. Check www.mineralwellsindex.com for information on the softball bi-district playoffs, or see Tuesday’s Index.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
Graford's Wimberly named 11-1A-II Offensive POY
A successful 2013-14 campaign for the Graford Lady Rabbits basketball team was capped off last week with the announcement that senior point guard Syndey Wimberly was named "Offensive Player of the Year" by district coaches. The district runner-up Lady Rabbits also placed five girls on the All-District 11-!A-II team.
Graford outlasts Ira, 69-65 (2OT), advances to Regional Finals
ABILENE -- "Survive and advance" is the name of the game come tournament time. And with their backs against the wall, the Graford Jackrabbits (27-3) did just that, holding off the Ira Bulldogs, 69-65, in double-overtime in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Semifinals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Ragland, Pappas, Holman receive top All 6-3A awards
A successful season full of growth for the Mineral Wells girls' basketball team was capped off in style this week when the district coaches announced that the Lady Rams placed seven players on the All-District 6-3A team and garnered three individual awards – two of which went to two of the Lady Rams youngest rising stars.
- More Local Sports Headlines