SNYDER — The Brownwood Lady Lions halted a two-game district skid, and in doing so earned a piece of the 5-4A softball championship with Tuesday's 5-0 victory over Snyder in the regular season finale.
The Lady Lions (19-6-1, 5-3) finished in a three-way tie with Abilene Wylie (13-11, 5-3), who they swept, and Big Spring (14-5, 5-3), who swept them. Big Spring will be the No. 1 seed for the playoffs, having posted a 3-1 record against Brownwood and Wylie, the Lady Lions will be the No. 2 seed after going 2-2 against Wylie and Big Spring, and Wylie will be the No. 3 seed with a 1-3 mark against Brownwood and Big Spring. Sweetwater (15-8, 4-4) will be the fourth playoff seed from the district.
Brownwood will face District 6-4A third seed Burkburnett (16-8) in the bi-district round of the playoffs next weekend. Details on when and where the games will take place were not finalized at press time.
In the win over Snyder (12-18, 1-7), Chyanne Ellett surpassed 800 strikeouts for her career as she tossed a three-hit shutout, fanning 12 batters with only one walk. Ellett hurled 93 pitches, 70 of which were strikes.
“She threw a lot of first-pitch strikes today and got ahead, and that's always what we're looking for,” Lady Lions head coach Jessica Lynn said of Ellett. “If we can get ahead on the batter we can make them guess and make them swing at our pitch instead of having to give them something that's easier to hit.”
Offensively, the Lady Lions generated a dozen hits, scoring four runs in the first two innings. Alyssa Hurt lasted just 1.1 innings for Snyder, yielding four runs on six hits with one strikeout. Braylei Pylant worked the final 5.2 innings, surrendering a run on six hits with 10 strikeouts.
“We did a good job early, and even when we got to the second girl we had three doubles against her so we made some good adjustments,” Lynn said.
Ayanna Clemons tallied three hits with an RBI, Ashlynn Patteson and Annie Gillispie both finished with a pair of hits and an RBI, Ellett and Aubrie Harris each recorded a hit and an RBI, and Landry Holden, Mya McDowell and Ryleigh Dalleh also contributed hits.
Brownwood took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Gillispie led off with an infield single, then scored on a two-out RBI single to right field by Clemons.
The Lady Lions extended their advantage to 4-0 in the second as Holden reached on a lead single to center field, then Dalleh followed with a one-out single up with the middle. Gillispie singled home Holden with the second Brownwood run, then Harris followed with an RBI base hit to score Dalleh with the third run. Patteson then doubled to center field, driving home Gillispie for the 4-0 lead.
Brownwood tacked on a final run in the seventh as Patteson doubled with one out, followed immediately by an RBI double from Ellett.
Coming off a four-error performance against Big Spring Friday, the Lady Lions were flawless in the field Tuesday.
“Overall it was a well-played game,” Lynn said. “We hit well, we made some good adjustments at the plate once their second pitcher came in. We played good defense, had good pitching, good base running, it was a well-played game all the way around.”