EARLY — The Brownwood Blazers rallied from their second straight three-run deficit to lock up a spot in both the TTAS District 2 Junior Girls championship game and the state tournament.
The Blazers tallied a 10-7 victory over Early Gold Wednesday at Early City Park, and Early Gold was then forced to play Early Purple for the second state berth and second tournament championship game berth. Early Purple knocked off De Leon, 12-0, and Ranger, 16-3, to remain alive Wednesday.
Due to deadline restrictions, the result of the Gold vs. Purple game was unknown, but at last report Purple led Gold 10-1.
Down 3-0 after one inning, Brownwood grabbed a 4-3 lead in the top of the second. Kelbie Crelia’s RBI ground out scored Mallorie Maxwell with the first Blazers’ run, then Nicole Schulze knocked in Ashton Huddleston and Hannah Mask with a two-RBI single. Schulze then pulled Brownwood in front when she scored after Early pitcher Shandi Winstead was called for an illegal pitch.
Brownwood increased its lead to 7-3 in the third inning an on RBI triple by Maxwell, an RBI infield single by Shelly Bible and an RBI ground out by Huddleston.
Katie Mullins gave the Blazers an 8-3 advantage in the fourth inning as she led off with a single and scored on Maxwell’s RBI single. Maxwell finished 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and was also the winning pitcher, striking out a half dozen.
Early cut the deficit to 8-7 in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI bases loaded walk by Andrea Gressett and a three-RBI double by Brittany Correll.
The Blazers added two insurance runs in the top of the fifth as Huddleston and Crelia both scored on errors, two of three Early committed in the inning.
Early was unable to score in the bottom of the fifth and time expired before the final out was recorded.
The Gold’s 3-0 first-inning lead came thanks to four walks. Ashley Correll and Brianne Kater picked up RBIs in the inning, while Brittany Correll scored on a wild pitch.