BROCK — For the second consecutive postseason contest, Brownwood limited its opponent to a pair of runs as the Lady Lions took control of their Region I-4A area playoff series with a 3-2 victory over the Alvarado Lady Indians here Thursday night.
Game 2 of the series will be back in Brock at 7 p.m. Friday with Game 3, if needed, to follow at 1 p.m. Saturday, also at Brock.
“We treated this game tonight like it was a one-game series, and we’re going to do the same thing tomorrow night,” said Lady Lions head coach Jessica Lynn, whose team ousted Burkburnett, 8-2, in one game in the bi-district round. “We don’t want to give them any life.”
In Thursday’s victory, Lady Lion junior hurler Chyanne Ellett tossed a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and one walk. After yielding a walk and three consecutive singles to start the contest, Ellett retired 14 batters in a row as Brownwood was able to seize the advantage.
Brownwood (21-6-1) took the lead for good in the top of the second as Mya McDowell, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored from second base after a ground out by Annie Gillispie and an errant throw from first to third — one of four miscues committed by Alvarado (23-11).
The Lady Lions added a much-needed insurance run in the fourth as Yisel Mendoza reached on an error to start the frame, advanced to second base on a sacrifice by Landry Holden and scored on Ryleigh Dalleh’s two-out RBI double to right field.
Alvarado closed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Faith Waugh led off with a walk, stole second base, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Kaitlynn Woodlee. Lakayla Cole then doubled to center fielder, but Ellett got out of the inning by retiring Brooke Nalley.
In the bottom of the seventh, DeeAnne Crum singled with one out for Alvarado, but Ellett fanned Maria Rodriguez and Jenna Patterson to end the threat and the game.
Brownwood jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first as Gillispie led off with a walk and Aubrie Harris reached on a dropped pop up. Ashlynn Patteson then reached on a fielder’s choice that eliminated Gillispie, while Ellett followed with a fielder’s choice that erased Harris. With two outs, Ayanna Clemons delivered an RBI single up the middle that plated Patteson.
Alvarado fired back in the bottom of the first as Waugh walked, then Haidyn Ransdell, Woodlee and Cole singled in succession to plate Waugh. Cole, however, was tagged out after rounding first base for the first out. Ellett then retired Nalley on a ground out back to the circle and struck out Mackenzie Vaughn to escape the jam, and Alvarado was unable to position itself for another potential big inning the rest of the contest.
Meanwhile, the Lady Lions were limited to just four hits by Woodlee, who struck out nine, walked three and saw a pair of batters reach via error. Patteson, Ellett, Clemons and Dalleh collected the hits for Brownwood, Gillispie, Harris and Holden drew walks and Mendoza and Harris reached via error.
“Tomorrow we want to build off the way we played defense,” said Lynn, whose team committed just one miscue. “Offensively we need to lay off the change up. It wasn’t very consistently in the strike zone but we were still swinging at it. We have to work on that a little bit and change some things up.”