By TONY EIERDAM
FORT WORTH – Their bats may have come on late, but when they finally did come around a five-run deficit turned into a blowout win.
Paced by five runs scored in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams came back from being down 6-1 to take a 16-6 victory over Hillsboro in the opening game of a best-of-three area softball playoffs series Friday night at North Crowley High School.
The game was stopped in the bottom of the sixth inning on run rule.
The series will continue with game two on Saturday (May 4) at 1 p.m. at North Crowley High School. Game three. if necessary, will follow game two.
Kelsey Keeton was the winning pitcher for MWHS. She allowed six runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said Keeton nor the team lost any confidence when trailing 6-1 after three-and-a-half innings.
“This is a mature team, and it didn’t panic,” Tarver said. “This team has made it to the area (second) round for the last three years in a row, and the girls knew we still had plenty of time, plenty of swings left.
“Kelsey also doesn’t get rattled. She just kept plugging away and eventually settled into a good rhythm.”
Allie Stephens went four-for-four, including a double, to lead the Lady Rams at the plate. Bethany Allen had three hits and drove in four runs, and Chandler Ortiz plated three Lady Rams and recorded a double.
The Lady Rams tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth after scoring five times. Stephens and Allen each registered a double in the frame, with both driving in a run.
In the five-run fifth inning, Allen (single) and Reagan Patterson (sacrifice fly) each drove in a run, and Hope Patterson smashed a double to drive in a pair. Hope Patterson scored later on a double by Ortiz.
The Lady Rams put the game away with five more runs in the sixth. Stephens and Molly Clarke each hit a single to lead off the inning.
The next batter, Makayla Nance, lined a single to center to drive in Stephens. Tabby Santibanez followed and reached on an infield error to load the bases.
Allen came up and blasted a triple to clear the bases and extend the Lady Rams’ lead to 15-6.
Reagan Patterson ended the game on a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in Allen.
By TONY EIERDAM
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