LIBERTY HILL — The Brownwood Lady Lions offense was stifled by the Liberty Hill pitching combination of Sam Junkin and Nicole Thiem as the fourth-ranked Lady Panthers chalked up a 4-0 victory Tuesday night in District 8-3A softball action.
Though the Lady Lions (16-7, 4-3) mustered only three hits — two by Ashley Jones and one from Victoria Sanchez — Brownwood had an excellent opportunity to push Liberty Hill (21-5, 7-0) into extra innings, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh.
Kristen Fuentes drew a walk off Thiem, who came on in the sixth inning, to start the seventh. Jones followed with a double to the wall in left field, putting runners on second and third. Sanchez then drew a walk, which filled the sacks.
Shelbi Winstead was retired on strikes, one of nine combined strikeouts by Thiem and Junkin, for the first out of the seventh. Tori Burkett then hit into a fielder’s choice as Fuentes was forced out at the plate for the second out. Thiem was then able to sit down Kayla McFarden on strikes to end Brownwood’s only scoring threat.
Liberty Hill collected six hits and drew six walks off Brownwood pitcher Alyson Finnigan, who struck out seven batters and left 10 stranded on base.
The Lady Panthers broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning as Kallen Floyd led off with a double and scored when Kelly McKinzey reached on a two-out error.
Brownwood found itself in a 2-0 hole with two outs in the bottom of the fifth as Joely Williamson lashed a solo home run to left field off Finnigan.
Liberty Hill tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth as McKinzey led off with an inside-the-park home run, as Winstead made an effort for a diving catch in the outfield but the ball got past her. Later in the inning, Lynette Clark walked and scored when Williamson reached on a two-out error.
The Lady Lions will attempt to rebound as they host Lampasas at 7 p.m. Friday. Brownwood knocked off the Lady Badgers, 9-6, in the first meeting on March 21.