Lady Lions to face 5-4A champ Vernon in bi-district following 4-2 loss to Stephenville

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin
Kayla McFarden drove in Brownwood’s first run in the Lady Lions’ 4-2 loss to Stephenville Tuesday. Brownwood will face Vernon in the bi-district round of the playoffs at 5 p.m. Thursday in Graham.

GLEN ROSE — The Brownwood Lady Lions will make their 11th consecutive postseason appearance as the fourth seed out of District 6-4A.

After defeating Abilene Wylie, 7-6, in a play-in game at Lady Lion Stadium Monday, Brownwood was dealt a 4-2 setback by the Stephenville Honeybees Tuesday in a contest that determined the No. 3 and No. 4 playoff seeds.

“We came out pretty flat today,” said Lady Lions head coach Jessica Lynn. “We just didn’t really find a spark or energy the whole game until the last inning. Coming into this game we knew we were already in the playoffs, so that might have played a part in us being flat.

“This wasn’t a must-win game, but in the playoffs we’re going to have to come out with a lot more energy and enthusiasm both at the plate and defensively if we want to move on. I think we very well can. The last three games before tonight we were very solid. I think they’ll bounce back and play a lot better.”

Next up for the Lady Lions (10-12) is a one-game Region I-4A bi-district playoff against District 5-4A champion Vernon, scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday in Graham.

The Lady Lions struck first in the top of the first inning as Ashley Gomez began the game with a triple. An RBI sacrifice fly to center field by Kayla McFarden scored Gomez and put Brownwood in front, 1-0. But the Lady Lions didn’t tally their second hit until the fifth inning.

Stephenville (15-12) hurler Julia Flores tossed a three-hitter with seven strikeouts as she kept the Lady Lions in check throughout the majority of the contest.

“She pitched very well today,” Lynn said of Flores’ performance in the circle. “We couldn’t make adjustments or figure her out the whole game.”

In the bottom of the first, Stephenville chalked up a pair of runs and held the advantage the remainder of the contest. Morgan Diciccio reached on a leadoff bunt single, then moved to second base on a sacrifice. Following a walk by Nadine Arredondo, Emily Miller delivered an RBI single that plated Diciccio. Flores then came through with an RBI ground that scored Arredondo and gave Stephenville the lead for good.

The Honeybees stretched the advantage to 3-1 in the bottom of the third as Flores drew a two-out walk and scored on one of three Brownwood errors.

Stephenville boosted its lead to 4-1 in the fifth as Rainey Boase’s two-out RBI single plated Flores, who also reached on a base hit.

Brownwood started a two-out rally in the top of the seventh as Emily Perez tripled and then scored on a wild pitch during Tori Burkett’s at-bat. But the short-lived rally ended there.

Perez also singled in the fifth inning for Brownwood as she accounted for two of the team’s three hits.

“We had that leadoff triple and I thought we were looking pretty good, but that’s all we really had until the triple in the seventh,” Lynn said.

Alexis Larrea went the distance in the circle for Brownwood, allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts, three walks and nine stranded base runners.