The positive momentum established by winning the Breckenridge tournament carried over into the Brownwood Lady Lions’ home opener Tuesday, a 5-1 victory over the San Angelo Central Lady Cats.
Brownwood (8-7) earned its fourth straight win as pitchers Sayla Parsons and Kate Atchley combined for a three-hitter with a dozen strikeouts between them.
Parsons worked the first four innings and allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts. Atchley fanned five over the last three innings and surrendered only a bunt single.
“Our pitchers complement each other very well,” said Lady Lions head coach Traci Pettit. “Sayla did an excellent job moving the ball around and then we brought Kate in who’s a different pitcher. One’s left-handed, one’s right-handed and that obviously throws some people off, plus the different pitches they throw keeps a team off balance the whole game.”
Offensively, the Lady Lions scored all five of their runs with two outs. Brownwood tallied six hits and took advantage of five Lady Cats’ errors.
Atchley was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, catcher Vicky McAnear went 1-for-2 with an RBI and right fielder Jessica Seaton, second baseman Ruby Rivera, center fielder Neelie Darden and first baseman Tiara Brown each contributed a single.
Central jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning as Heather Mase reached base on a bunt single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lacey Sinclair.
With two outs, lead off hitter Alex Theriot singled to center field, which plated Mase with the only Central run.
Theriot advanced all the way to third base on the play due to an errant throw to the plate, then Cortnee Cote walked. But Parsons gathered herself and fanned Sam Theriot to end the inning.
The Lady Lions turned around with a three-spot in the bottom of the third.
McAnear’s two-out bases-loaded RBI infield single off the glove of Central shortstop Alana Hill drove home Shelbie Harry, who reached on a fielders’ choice, with the tying run.
Atchley then roped a two-strike, two-out, two-RBI single to right field that knocked in Parsons and shortstop Alex Williams, who both reached via fielders’ choices, with the go-ahead runs.
“These girls knew they were going to put the ball in play, so that one run didn’t frustrate them,” Pettit said. “They know it’s never over until it’s over and that with two outs and everybody running, somebody’s going to put it in play.”
The Lady Lions tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning as Rivera, Darden and Brown each singled. Rivera was retired attempting to steal second for the first out, but Darden and Brown scored on Harry’s fly ball to left field.
Central left fielder Alex Theriot charged Harry’s drive, but slipped while planting her foot as the ball deflected off her glove which allowed the final two Brownwood runs to score.
The Lady Lions will attempt to continue their winning ways at the Snyder tournament, which starts Thursday.