ABILENE — Facing a must-win situation in their quest for an 11th consecutive playoff berth, the Brownwood Lady Lions snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-5 road victory over the Abilene Wylie Lady Bulldogs Monday afternoon.
Brownwood’s postseason hopes are still alive heading into tonight’s 6 p.m. regular season finale against Graham, where the Lady Lions can lock up a playoff berth with a victory on their home turf. Brownwood dropped the first meeting at Graham, 9-5, on April 3, but the Lady Lions also fell to Wylie, 9-1, at home on March 27 and avenged that loss in the rematch.
Trailing 4-3 heading to the top of the fifth inning, the Lady Lions (9-10, 3-4) strung together three consecutive extra-base hits to regain the lead. With one down, Kayla McFarden tripled to deep center field off Wylie (12-13, 3-3) pitcher Kaylee Rowe. Victoria Sanchez followed with an RBI triple to left field that scored McFarden with the tying run. Alexis Larrea then launched a two-run home run over the left field fence to push the Lady Lions in front, 6-4.
Brownwood tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Sanchez singled to shallow center field and scored on a two-out RBI single to right field by Ashley Jones, who drove in a team-high three RBIs.
Wylie attempted to rally with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Shelby Russell reached on a single and two-base error, then scored on an RBI single by Hadleigh Harvey. Bre Parks then singled, which brought the potential winning run to the plate in pinch-hitter Shelby Davis, who flew out to deep center field to end the contest.
Emily Perez notched the victory in the circle for the Lady Lions as, after yielding three runs in the bottom of the first inning, the freshman hurler gave up just two more the rest of the contest. Perez did surrender 13 hits and one walk, but struck out five batters and left 10 Lady Bulldogs stranded on base.
Brownwood generated a dozen hits out of head coach Jessica Lynn’s revamped lineup, led by three from Sanchez, two each from Larrea and Jones and one apiece from McFarden, Perez, Ashley Gomez, Tori Burkett and Raeann Gongora.
The Lady Lions raced out to a short-lived 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Following a two-out walk by Sanchez and a single by Larrea, Jones drilled a two-RBI triple to right-center field to put Brownwood in front, 2-0. Perez followed with an RBI single to bring home Jones.
Wylie pulled even at 3 in the bottom of the first as Rowe walked and Carrie Clark singled ahead of an RBI single by Kamwren Jackson. Brandi Little’s sacrifice fly scored the second run, then Russell followed with an RBI single to knot the score. Perez retired the next two batters, however, to escape further damage.
The Lady Bulldogs snatched a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of the third as Morgan Mason doubled with one out and scored on a Little single, coupled with one of three Lady Lion errors.