By TONY EIERDAM
When head coach David Tarver helped put together the Tri County Rotation Softball Tournament along with Graham and Springtown, he wanted the teams that were going to play in Mineral Wells to be top-notch competition.
Thursday afternoon in the opener of the tournament’s leg at Kessler Field, Tarver got what he wanted.
Paced by a one-hitter from Iowa Park pitcher Peyton Helton, the Lady Hawks defeated the Mineral Wells Lady Rams, 5-0, in a battle of two teams that could potentially hook up in the playoffs.
The Lady Rams (12-6-1) were to have played Abilene Wylie later Thursday, but that game was not finished until after press time.
The tournament continues today as MWHS will face Celina at noon. The Lady Rams will conclude tournament play at noon Saturday against Lubbock Cooper and later that day at 4 p.m. against Brownwood.
All of the teams playing this year are either state ranked or made the playoffs last year, or both.
“This is what we wanted,” Tarver said. “This is the kind of competition we want to play in order to better prepare for the playoffs.
“Most of these teams went three or four rounds in the playoffs last year, and you can only get better playing this type of competition.”
Helton allowed just one walk while striking out five in seven innings.
Lady Rams pitcher Hope Patterson also had a solid outing in the circle. The sophomore allowed four earned runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“Hope pitched well,” Tarver said. “She was throwing her rise ball and screw ball high in the strike zone, and those are hard pitches to hit.
“For the most part she kept the hitters off balance.”
Iowa Park scored on an unearned run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead and added a pair of runs in the fourth to increase its lead to 3-0.
Meanwhile, Helton was having her way with the Lady Rams. Through four innings she allowed just one base runner and pitched to one batter above the minimum.
The Lady Hawks extended their lead to 5-0 when Baylee Voigt smashed a towering two-run home run into a stiff wind that carried well beyond the left-field fence.
The Lady Rams broke up Helton’s no-hitter when Makayla Nance lined a single to right field. Nance advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, and when Reagan Patterson drew a walk, Nance advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
But with two runners on and two out, Helton got out of a jam when Hope Patterson’s long drive to center field was caught for the third out.
Helton sent the Lady Rams down in order in the seventh to preserve the win.
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
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
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State slips away
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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.
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