The Brownwood Lady Lions recorded their fourth consecutive victory and pushed their unbeaten streak to six games with a 4-0 shutout over the Clyde Lady Bulldogs in Tuesday night’s pre-district finale at Lady Lions Stadium.
The last loss for Brownwood (10-4-1) occurred Feb. 25 at Class 6A Abilene High. The Lady Lions have since defeated Coahoma (3-0), Abilene Cooper (4-0), Cisco (18-0), Merkel (4-0) and Clyde, with the only non-victory being a 2-2 tie with Sweetwater at the Abilene tournament.
The Lady Lions open District 6-4A action at Stephenville at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I feel confident and I’m ready to get started,” Lady Lions head coach Jessica Lynn said when asked about the looming league opener. “We’ve been played really well and we’ve won four or five in a row. We’re playing solid defense with only the occasional mistake here and there and we’re swinging the bats and hitting the ball hard. I have complete confidence.”
In Tuesday’s win, freshman Chyanne Ellett tossed a complete-game three-hitter with nine strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter.
Clyde’s Belle Gomez was beaned on the first pitch of the game and left stranded at third, and the only other scoring threat for the Lady Bulldogs came with two outs in the fourth. A walk by Kenedee Reeves and a single by Bekah Chance, coupled with Brownwood’s lone error, put runners on second and third with two outs. But Ellett chalked up her sixth strikeout to escape that brief jam.
“Chyanne didn’t have her best stuff but she found a way and good pitchers do that when they don’t have their good stuff,” Lynn said. “She’s really been huge for us and she’s always ready to go. She’s a little different from our other pitchers who are more pitch to contact. Chyanne is a more of a strikeout pitcher.”
Offensively, the Lady Lions recorded nine hits off Chance — three by Ashley Gomez, including a double, with two runs scored; two by Kristen Fuentes, who drove in two runs; a pair from Ellett, who added an RBI; and one each from Victoria Sanchez and Alexis Larrea.
The Lady Lions scored twice in the bottom of the third inning and added two more runs in the fifth.
“We hit the ball well, but I’ve seen us hit better,” Lynn said. “We did what we had to do to scratch across some runs.”
In the third, a couple of hustle plays from Gomez set the table for Brownwood’s offense. First, a bloop single over shortstop turned into a double when Gomez broke for second and beat the throw with a dive to the bag. Sanchez followed with a single to left, and when the throw in got away from the Clyde third baseman, Gomez raced to third and snuck underneath the tag, which also allowed Sanchez to advance to second base.
Ellett followed with a dying infield pop up that snuck under the glove of a lunging Lady Bulldog second baseman, scoring Gomez with the first run. Fuentes then drilled an RBI single past third base which brought home Sanchez.
“We went over that yesterday in practice, telling base runners to be aggressive but smart,” Lynn said. “Ashley’s a very smart base runner so I usually don’t have to tell her to be aggressive, she’s always looking to take the extra base. She made some things happen and got us going that inning.”
Gomez again ignited the offense in the fifth with a single to right-center field to start the frame. Ellett followed with a one-out single to right field, and a wild throw to third base that landed in Brownwood’s dugout allowed Gomez to score the third run. With Ellett at third base after the play, Fuentes singled into left field to produce the final run.
“Those two insurance runs made me feel better,” Lynn said. “A mistake here or there and the game could have been tied. You never know when something weird might happen, so insurance runs are always a relief.”