The Brownwood Lady Lions’ offense finally came to life in the final inning of regulation, but additional runs in extra innings couldn’t be found as the Mineral Wells Lady Rams chalked up a 6-4, nine-inning triumph in District 6-4A softball action Wednesday.
With the loss, the Lady Lions (8-10, 2-4) — who have dropped four straight league contests — slipped into last place in the 6-4A standings. Meanwhile, Mineral Wells (13-8, 4-2) has vaulted to the top spot with two games to play.
The Lady Lions rallied from seven runs down for a 12-11, eight-inning win at Mineral Wells in the 6-4A opener on March 24, but Lady Ram pitcher Allie Stephens stranded 10 Brownwood base runners and surrendered just four hits through the first six innings in the rematch.
Down 4-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, Victoria Sanchez led off the frame for Brownwood with a single, then Ashley Jones drew walk. With one out, Rose Zamarripa broke up the shutout with an RBI single.
Still down three runs with two outs, Lady Lion pitcher Emily Perez drove home Jones with a single, while an error on the play allowed Zamarripa to race home as well as advance Perez into scoring position.
Tori Burkett then delivered an RBI single to left field as Perez scored and the ball game started fresh at 4-4.
Brownwood, which struck out 13 times and left 12 runners stranded overall, managed only a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth during extra innings.
Mineral Wells, meanwhile, witnessed its first two batters — Victoria Huffman and Paige Goleman — reach in the top of the eighth on singles, then were left stranded.
In the ninth, Makayla Nance singled to begin the frame, then an Ashley Valdez bunt and Brownwood error put runners on the corners. Hope Patterson came through with a go-ahead RBI ground out, then an RBI fielder’s choice by Stephens scored Valdez, who beat the throw to the plate.
The Lady Rams finished with 13 hits against Perez — who struck out three, did not issue a walk and surrendered only three earned runs.
Mineral Wells took a 3-0 lead in the third on a two-out two-RBI single by Stephens, which plated Nance and Valdez after back-to-back one-out hits. Stephens later scored when Huffman reached on a two-out error.
Brownwood missed several early opportunities to produce runs.
In the second, Kristen Fuentes reached on a single and Zamarripa on a error. With runners on second and third and no outs, the Lady Lions did not score.
Danyelle Gongora singled and Ashley Gomez walked to start the third, and again Brownwood was kept off the board.
With two outs in the fourth, Perez and Burkett both singled and Gongora drew a walk to load the bases, but again Mineral Wells escaped the jam.
The Lady Lions venture to second-place Abilene Wylie (12-12, 3-2) at 4:30 p.m. Friday.