As storm-delayed play approached the midnight hour Saturday, the Brownwood Lady Lions remained in the winners’ bracket of the 20-team Texas Teen-Age Softball High School Eligible State Tournament at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
The Early Studberry Muffins, meanwhile, dropped games to Hubbard, 1-0, and Mabank, 2-0, Saturday and were eliminated from the tournament.
Saturday’s action began either two or four hours late, depending on the field, due to overnight rains. Therefore, not all games were completed by the 10:30 p.m. deadline and all tournament results will not appear in today’s edition of the Bulletin.
The tournament championship game is still slated to begin at 4 p.m. today.
Brownwood took advantage of five Jim Ned Elite errors to rally for a 9-2 victory in its first game Saturday and was slated to face Bosqueville beginning at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.
The Lady Lions surged ahead of Jim Ned with three runs in the bottom of the third inning after the Elite put a pair of runs on the board in its first trip to the plate.
With one out, Kate Atchley and Kerri Jones laid down consecutive bunt singles. Atchley was able to cross the plate on a wild pitch during Kaitlin Sliger’s at-bat, then Jones scored to pull Brownwood even on an RBI infield single by Ashley Salazar. The throw to first was wild, which also allowed Vicky McAnear — who reached on Jim Ned’s first error — to score the go-ahead run.
Clinging to its 3-2 lead, Brownwood avoided a jam in fifth inning.
Victoria Ramos led off with a double to center field, then Jordan Roberts reached on a one-out fielder’s choice. With still only one out and runners on second and third, Sliger got Courtney Frakes to pop out to McAnear behind the plate, then Kelsey Milliorn hit a routine grounder to second for the final out.
The Lady Lions turned around and put six insurance runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning to ice the game.
Jones, who recorded three of Brownwood’s seven hits, led off with an infield single then Sliger reached on a fielder’s choice that did not result in an out. Salazar, who posted two hits, reached on a bunt single of her own to load the bases.
Lauren Dees reached on an error that plated Jones, then Mallorie Maxwell hit an RBI fielders’ choice that scored Sliger as again Jim Ned failed to record an out on the play.
Salazar and Dees later scored on wild pitches, while Maxwell and Sayla Parsons — who recorded an infield single — came home when Atchley reached on a two-out error.
Sam Wilson and Ramos scored Jim Ned’s two runs in the first on a bases-loaded walk by Roberts and an error during Frakes’ at-bat.
Kayla Thomas had two of Jim Ned’s six hits, while Bettie Jo Chambliss, Karli Sharp, Wilson and Ramos tallied the others.
Sliger struck out four and walked five for Brownwood in six innings in the circle
In Early’s opening loss, the Muffins managed just four hits and stuck out nine times against Hubbard pitcher Yolanda Armstrong.
Collecting the only hits for the Muffins were Shandi Winstead, who was 2-for-3 with singles in the first and third innings, while Tylene Middleton started the top of the fourth with a single to center and Brittany Davis had a one-out single in the fifth.
Hubbard picked up just two hits off Early pitchers Janna Allen and Julia Loudermilk, but the Lady Jags took advantage of a pair of crucial Muffin miscues in the bottom of the fourth to produce the game’s lone run.
Abby Weatherby began the inning by reaching on an error, then moved to second base on Ashten Brown’s single to left field.
Sara Fletcher’s bunt advanced each runner, then Samantha Woodall reached base following a two-out dropped third strike, which allowed Weatherby to race home from third for the lone run.