Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 6, 2014

Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney


Mineral Wells Index

By CLINT FOSTER

cfoster@mineralwellsindex.com

 

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. 

 

Beginning with a triple header starting at 10 a.m., the Lady Rams will host Weatherford, Iowa Park, Abilene Wylie, Brownwood and Springtown over the next two days in the Mineral Wells Tournament at Kessler Field before heading to Graham to face off against Lubbock Cooper.

 

In Wichita Falls, the Lady Rams were tested by the likes of Vernon, Iowa Park, Windthorst, Perryton, Haskel and Holiday, but rose to the challenge in every occasion. 

 

Mineral Wells' only loss came in a 2-1 battle against Iowa Park, which the Lady Rams lost despite a gem of a pitching performance from Allie Stephens, who pitched a complete game and allowed three hits and a walk and fanned seven batters. The difference came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Iowa Park scored on a two out error. Mineral Wells was not able to bring a runner home until the game's final frame when Hope Patterson brought Bethany Allen across the plate on an RBI single. 

 

Despite winning the other five games, head coach David Tarver said losing to the Lady Hawks may have been the most positive moment in the tournament for Mineral Wells.

 

"Sometimes you have loses in the season that are more productive than a win," he explained. "We were playing a good team and an untimely mistake cost us the game. We'll learn more from that than we might from a win."

 

The Lady Rams also grinded out some tough victories in the tournament, earning wins against Windthorst, Haskel and Holiday by scores of 10-6, 4-3 and 5-3 respectively. Tarver said facing teams that could match Mineral Wells' offensive prowess provided yet another opportunity for his team to improve.

 

"Probably the most significant thing we got out of (the tournament) was we played teams that hit the ball real well and we had to make plays," he said. "Those are situations you hope for in a tournament. You don't want to get easy wins, you want to have to work for it."

 

In the Mineral Wells Tournament, the Lady Rams have the opportunity to continue to do just that. 

 

For the first time, Tarver said the Lady Rams' lineup will be at full strength and able to gain experience as a group, all in front of a hometown crowd that is sure to be filled with students at various points during the school days.

 

They will also have the rare chance to play what will essentially be a practice game against district rivals Springtown before the district schedule officially begins. 

 

"We're going to use these next four game dates to get that lineup as much cohesion as we can before we play that first district game," Tarver said.  

 

After the trip to play Lubbock Cooper, Mineral Wells will have just one more game at home against Graham, Monday, before the meat of their season begins with a home matchup against Castleberry. Once that District 6-3A slate begins, it will be "Katie, bar the door" for this hungry group that is ready to make waves and turn heads.