Host Dublin seemed to be in great position for victory most of the way in Friday night’s ballgame, but Lady Tiger softball nearly pulled off a stunner.
Glen Rose (1-1) trailed 7-1 with just one out remaining before it stormed all the way back in the top of the seventh (7-7) only to see Dublin win the game in the bottom of the inning, 8-7. Glen Rose finished with more hits (13-10) and errors (4-1).
“Dublin was pretty solid,” said coach Kiel Miller. “They hit the ball well and their pitcher threw well. We had 13 hits off of her; we just couldn’t put anything together in the middle innings and they did.
“We had some hard-hit balls they made good plays on. You have to give them credit for stepping up.”
The Lady Tigers are averaging four errors per game, so defense is the issue for the squad thus far.
“Right now, it’s the defense that’s hurting us,” Miller said. “I think it goes to having so many new kids on the team that haven’t spent a lot of time together. For these freshmen, it’s a big learning curve playing against girls who might be four years older, and some of our errors are hustle errors where we’re trying to make plays that aren’t there.”
Madison Calvert (5 IP, 7 R, 7 H, 3 W, 8 K) got the start in the circle, while Hannah Morales (2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K) came on in relief.
“Madison pitched a pretty solid game,” Miller said. “We still need to cut those walks down, because they tend to come back to haunt you with a run scored. We made some errors behind her, and if you take those away we win the ballgame.”
The coach was pleased with his freshman pitcher’s work.
“Hannah threw real well,” he said. “She’s a great compliment to Madison because she throws a little slower and it really threw (Dublin) off. She threw some good strikes, and in her first outing as a freshman I thought she did a really good job.”
Top hitters included Amber Ponce (triple, single, 2 RBIs), Kelsy Massey (2 singles, 2 RBIs), Calvert (triple, single, RBI) and Morales (double, single, RBI). Other hitters included Alex Dahl (double, single), Callie Hill (double, RBI), Sabrina Watson (single) and Page Green (single).
Glen Rose went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first when Cheyenne Harton walked and Calvert drilled an RBI triple.
“You can count on Madison to hit the ball and she had a big triple in the first,” Miller said.
Dublin scored one in the first, two in the third and four in the fourth.
“It was disappointing we couldn’t string any hits together in those middle innings, which came back to cost us,” Miller said. “We only had four strikeouts in the game, so at least we were putting it in play.”
Down 7-1 with two outs in the top of the seventh, Glen Rose began to charge back. After singles by Calvert and Dahl, Amber Ponce connected on a two-RBI triple (3-7).
“Amber has been limited to batting practice because of a knee injury, so to come in and hit the ball well in her first time to face a live pitcher was good,” Miller said.
Morales hit an RBI single, Watson singled and then Kelsy Massey delivered a two-RBI single (6-7).
“Kelsy is swinging the bat well,” Miller said.
A Hill RBI double tied the score at 7-7 before a groundout kept Glen Rose from going ahead.
“One thing I demand from my team is mental toughness,” Miller said. “I’m not going to have anybody give up. I kept telling them we’d break out, and then we did in the seventh.”
Dublin managed to scratch out a run in the bottom of the seventh to win the game.
“A dropped fly ball ended the game with Dublin scoring from third,” Miller said.
The Lady Tigers, who will be getting a boost of incoming players from varsity basketball on Monday, will return to game action on Tuesday at Fort Worth South Hills at 7 p.m.
“We’ll get back at it Monday in practice and try to come together, as far as making sure everyone is in their best position to contribute,” Miller said. “It’s one game; we can’t dwell on it because we have seven games in the next seven days.”
JV Lady Tigers win
The JV Lady Tigers won their season opener 10-3 over Dublin. Dakotah Ponce (5 IP, 2 H, 12 K) dominated in the circle, and she also tripled at the plate. Madison Baker hit two singles, while Aubrey Starnes doubled.
“I’m real pleased with those girls,” Miller said. “Dakotah pitched well. We played solid defense and hit the ball well.”