EARLY — The Early Purple took the scenic route to the TTAS District 2 Junior Girls championship, bouncing back from a first-round loss and fighting through the loser’s bracket to claim the title.
Early took a pair of games from the Brownwood Blazers, 10-1 and 17-4, Thursday night to avenge Monday’s opening 9-6 loss. Both Early and Brownwood advanced to the 14-team TTAS Junior Girls state tournament, which begins July 21 in Lindale, northwest of Tyler.
In Thursday’s district championship deciding game, Early rallied from a 4-2 deficit by scoring six runs in the bottom of the second inning. In the first meeting, it was the Blazers who erased a 3-0 Early lead as they rallied for the win.
Kish Suniga’s RBI double scored Sarah Smithey and brought Early within 4-3 in the second. Daniela Castillo followed with an RBI single to right field that brought home Suniga with the tying run.
An RBI single by Amanda Gober scored Castillo with the go-ahead run, then Erica Hulse drove home both Gober and Madison Berry with a two-RBI base hit. Ceejay Oliver capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI double to left field.
Early tacked on nine more runs as the flood gates opened down the stretch.
Brownwood trailed 2-0 after one inning, but scored four runs to seize the advantage in the top of the second.
Hannah Mask’s two-RBI single scored Mallorie Maxwell, who doubled, and Shelly Bible to pull the Blazers even at 2-all.
An error allowed Kelbie Crelia to score the go-ahead run and Katie Mullins chipped in an RBI single before the second inning was complete.
In the first game Thursday, Castillo tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 Blazers.
Early broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the second inning. Smithey’s RBI ground out plated Gober, while Kaylee Tarrant’s RBI single brought home Hulse.
Three more runs crossed the plate in third inning as Berry’s RBI single knocked in Suniga, while Castillo scored on an error and Gober came home following a passed ball.
The Blazers cut the deficit to 5-1 in the top of the fourth as Maxwell doubled and later scored on an error.
Early then put the game out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the fourth as Berry and Gober tallied two RBIs apiece.