The No. 16 Brownwood Lady Lions chalked up their 15th victory of the season, but just their first at home, as they remained undefeated in District 5-4A softball action with a 4-2 triumph over the Sweetwater Lady Mustangs Friday.
The only other home game forBrownwood (15-3-1, 2-0) was an 8-3 loss to Clyde on Feb. 27, while the Lady Lions' only other district outing was a 4-1 victory at Abilene Wylie on Tuesday.
“It's good to start off 2-0 in district, and this was a good win to have,” said Lady Lions head coach Jessica Lynn. “Like I was telling the girls, we were a little flat and didn't have a lot of energy, but you'll have games like that. It was good to pull this one out, we just have to come out with a little more energy and fire right off the bat.”
The Lady Lions scored once in the bottom of the first inning, then tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third. Sweetwater (11-5, 0-1) countered with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth.
Chyanne Ellett went the district in the circle for Brownwood, yielding two earned runs on seven hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks.
“She battled out there,” Lynn said of Ellett. “It didn't look like she had her best stuff today, but her change up was very good. That kept them off balance. There was also a lot of weak contact to our infield, so that made it easy for them.”
The Lady Lions tallied seven hits off the Sweetwater pitching tandem of Kara Lehnert and Elli Lehnert. Shortstop Annie Gillispie and first baseman Ryleigh Dalleh collected two hits apiece while second baseman Aubrie Harris, third baseman Ayanna Clemons and Ellett each contributed a hit.
Brownwood grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Gillispie led off with a single but was erased when Harris reached on a fielder's choice. Catcher Ashlynn Patteson's ground out moved Harris to third, where Harris scored on Ellett's two-out RBI double to right-center field.
The Lady Lions then pieced together a three-run third inning, which proved to be the difference in the contest. With one out, Gillispie reached on a bunt single and stole second base ahead of an RBI single to center field by Harris. With Harris on second, Patteson grounded to third and reached on a throw into the dugout, which also permitted Harris to come home. With two outs, Clemons delivered an RBI single up the middle to plate Patteson with Brownwood's fourth and final run.
“We got some clutch hitting with runners on,” Lynn said of the third inning. “We've been talking about that, when we have runners in scoring position we have to get hits to get them in. We did a great job of scratching three runs across that inning, which ended up being huge.”
Sweetwater cut Brownwood's lead in half in the top of the fifth as Jazzy Villa reached on a single into right field to start the inning, and later scored on Bri Moriel's two-out RBI triple to left-center field. Blake Bewely followed with an RBI single to score Moriel before Ellett retired Sonora Medellin on an line drive to Dalleh at first to end the frame.
Ellett allowed just one more base runner the rest of the way, Hannah Mobley on a two-out single in the seventh, which was followed by a Moriel fly out to Karly Harper in center field to secure the victory.
The Lady Lions are scheduled to host Midland Christian in non-district action Tuesday, then return to 5-4A competition Friday at Big Spring (10-3, 2-0) — which upended Abilene Wylie, 10-7, Friday afternoon.
“We still have some things to work on, but we're in a good place being 2-0 in district,” Lynn said. “We're doing some good things offensively and defensively, so I feel good about where we are right now.”