EARLY — Following a 94-minute rain delay, the Brownwood Blazers’ offense came to life, erupting for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning en route to a 9-6 victory over Early Purple in the opening round of the TTAS District 2 Junior Girls tournament Monday at Early City Park.
Prior to the delay, the Blazers trailed 3-0 and had mustered just one hit off Early pitcher Daniela Castillo. When play resumed, the first nine Brownwood batters reached base and seven scored before the Early defense chalked up its first out.
The Blazers’ rally began with a lead off walk by Alicia Mobley, then Jobe Roberts followed with a single to left field, while Mallorie Maxwell’s bloop infield single loaded the bases.
An RBI fielder’s choice by Shelly Bible — in which Early failed to record an out — scored Mobley with the first run. Ashton Huddleston then singled to left field to bring home Roberts and Maxwell, which pulled Brownwood even at 3-all.
Kelbie Crelia then ripped a two-run double to left field, driving home Bible and Huddleston as Brownwood grabbed its first lead, 5-3.
An RBI single to right field by Cherita George plated Crelia with the sixth run, then George made the score 7-3 as she raced home when Katie Mullins reached on an error.
Though Early’s lead vanished, its fight did not as the Purple squad closed the gap to 7-6 in the top of the fifth inning.
Kish Suniga reached on a one-out error, then Amanda Gober followed with a single to right field. With two outs, Madison Berry received an intentional walk from Maxwell to load the bases.
A passed ball during Ashley Grissom’s at-bat scored Suniga. Grissom then dribbled an RBI single up the middle to plate Gober, while Berry also scored on the play following a throwing error.
Maxwell — who allowed six hits and struck out eight — was able to get out of the inning with Brownwood clinging to its one-run lead.
Brownwood added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as Bible tripled down the left field line to open the inning, then scored on a one-out illegal pitch by Castillo.
Castillo allowed nine hits, walked three and stuck out six — but only one following the rain delay.
Early had a chance to pull even in the top of the sixth as Suniga and Gober singled with two outs. Again Maxwell escaped the jam as both runners were left stranded in scoring position — two of six runners Early left stranded on the bases.
The Blazers were then able to chew up the remainder of the one—hour, 45-minute time limit in the bottom of the sixth as Hannah Mask walked, Mullins and Mobley followed with singles and Roberts drove home the final run with a base hit to center field.
Early jumped out to its 3-0 lead with a single run in the first inning as Berry’s RBI sacrifice fly scored Gober, who singled with one out for the first of her game-high three hits.
In the third inning, Berry led off with a solo home run to center field, then Grissom reached on a error before scoring on Erica Hulse’s RBI ground out.
Brownwood was slated to play the Cisco Heat late Monday night, but due to the rain delay and deadline restrictions a final result on that game was unknown at press time. At last report, the Blazers owned a 6-1 lead.
In the other late game, the Early Gold — who defeated Ranger, 15-3, in its opener — led the De Leon Hott Shotz, 17-3, at press time.