By TONY EIERDAM
Burkburnett pitcher Kylee Trahan allowed only one hit and struck out 10 to lead the state-ranked No. 6 Lady Bulldogs to a 9-0 win over the Mineral Wells Lady Rams Friday night in game one of their best-of-three regional quarterfinal series at Kessler Field.
Game two will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday (May 11) at Burkburnett, with game three, if necessary, to follow game two.
Trahan was lifted from the circle after the sixth inning. Kayla Armstrong retired three of four batters in the seventh. Before being removed from the circle to presumably rest her arm for game two, Trahan had retired 13 consecutive batters, retiring the side in order the last four frames she pitched.
Lady Rams freshman Kelsey Keeton took the loss in the circle for MWHS.
Keeton allowed seven runs on 10 hits with one walk and two strikeouts in five innings.
Allie Stephens finished in the circle for the Lady Rams, allowing one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts.
Despite the loss, Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said his team will not panic.
The Lady Rams fell to Graham 10-1 in the opener of a best-of-three area championship series last week only to come back and take two games the next day to clinch the series.
“We have been in this situation before,” Tarver said. “We will just have to regroup and get after them (on Saturday).
“All I have to do is remind them about Graham. This is the farthest we have ever been in the playoffs, and this is the best softball we have ever put together as a team.
“I am not ready for it to end, and neither are the girls. We are playing for our lives and our softball futures. We want to keep playing, and we will come out (on Saturday) with some fight.”
Molly Clarke swatted the lone base hit off Trahan, and Hope Patterson got a hit off Armstrong.
Burkburnett jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Trahan singled and was replaced on first base by courtesy runner Ansley Waddel. The next batter, Bryson Young, tripled to center field to drive in Waddel.
Young scored a batter later on a base hit from Ally Hardaway.
The best chance the Lady Rams had to score was in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, Stephens was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch.
Clarke followed and singled sharply up the middle to put runners on first and second. However, Trahan got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
Burkburnett added a pair of runs in the third for a 4-0 cushion. Armstrong lined a single that drove in Alyssa Tabian, who had reached on a double.
Two batters later, Trahan tripled to right field to plate Armstrong.
The Lady Bulldogs added three more runs in the fifth. The big hit in the frame was a two-RBI single by Casey Cannon.
Armstrong also drove in a run as the Lady Bulldogs led 7-0.
Trahan was on fire in the middle innings. During her streak of retiring 13 straight batters, she recorded seven strikeouts and only allowed one ball to leave the infield, on a fly out.
The Lady Bulldogs swatted four hits and took advantage of an error to close the scoring with a pair of runs in the seventh.
Armstrong’s final two outs came on strikeouts as Burkburnett took the series opener.
By TONY EIERDAM
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