Lady Lions start second half of district with 9-6 loss to Stephenville

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin
Brownwood shortstop Victoria Sanchez tags out Stephenville’s Morgan Diciccio (21) on a stolen base attempt during the Lady Lions’ 9-6 home loss Friday night.

Since opening District 6-4A softball action with consecutive wins, the Brownwood Lady Lions have yet to taste victory again as they began the second half of league play with their third straight setback, 9-6, at the hands of the Stephenville Honeybees Friday night.

The Lady Lions (8-9, 2-3) — who defeated Stephenville (12-10, 2-3) on the road in the 6-4A opener by an 11-6 count — surrendered four runs before scratching across their first two runs in the bottom of the fourth, then immediately gave up four runs in the next half-inning.

Trailing by as many as six runs, the Lady Lions twice cut the deficit to three, but got no closer down the stretch.

Brownwood pitchers Alexis Larrea and Emily Perez yielded a dozen hits — including a home run — between them, while issuing a pair of walks. The Lady Lion defense committed a pair of errors, as well.

Offensively for the Lady Lions, their nine-hit attack included a solo homerun by Kristen Fuentes, two hits apiece from Ashley Gomez and Kayla McFarden and a team-high two RBIs from Tori Burkett.

Stephenville broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the second as Nadine Arredondo and Sami Shaffer reached on consecutive singles to start the frame. Arredondo later scored on a wild pitch while Shaffer came home on an RBI sacrifice fly by Sierra Varnado.

The Honeybees extended their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth as a one-out RBI double by Emily Miller plated Arredondo, who had again reached on a single, while Varnado’s RBI sacrifice fly brought home Shaffer, who reached on a fielder’s choice.

The Lady Lions offense finally began to show life against Stephenville hurler Julia Flores in the bottom of the fourth. Gomez led off with a infield single to deep short, then Victoria Sanchez singled into the left-center field gap, where the ball was misplayed allowing Gomez to score all the way from first. Sanchez advanced to third on the play and later came home on a wild pitch.

Trailing 4-2 and with the momentum on their side, the Lady Lions quickly surrendered four runs in the top of the fifth and fell into an 8-2 hole.

Madi Crew doubled and Morgan Diciccio reached on a bunt single, and both scored on a two-out error that could have ended the inning without any damage. Miller followed with an RBI single and another error on the play allowed Shaffer, who reached on the inning-prolonging miscue, to tally the eighth run.

Brownwood crept within 8-4 in the bottom of the fifth as Perez singled and McFarden doubled, and both came home on Burkett’s two-RBI infield single, which short-hopped the Stephenville shortstop Diciccio.

In the sixth inning, the Lady Lions closed the gap to 8-5 on a monster home to dead center by Fuentes, but Arredondo answered with a solo shot for Stephenville in the top of the seventh.

The Lady Lions’ final gasp came in the seventh as McFarden led off with a base hit and moved to second on an error on the play. Following a two-out fly out, McFarden tagged up and advanced to third and a throw into the Brownwood dugout allowed her to score the sixth run. The Lady Lions’ rally, however, ended there.

Brownwood welcomes Mineral Wells at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a rematch of a 12-11, eight-inning victory for the Lady Lions, who rallied from seven runs down at one point.