By Ryan Mayner
For the second straight home game, the Hays Lady Rebels gave up an unearned run in the top of the first inning.
But unlike the previous week, where it led to an 11-0 loss to Lake Travis, it was Hays that went on to dominate in an 11-1 victory in five innings over the Lehman Lady Lobos.
Lehman led 1-0 before Aspen Salazar lined a two out RBI single, which scored Kara Davis from second base in the bottom of the first inning.
The Rebels struck again in the second inning when Angelica Arroyo drove in Madison Allen with an RBI single. Allen then delivered an RBI single in the third inning, scoring Salazar to take a 3-1 lead.
According to Hays head coach Lisa Cone, the Rebels had to adjust to the slower pitching style of Lehman starter Karina Reta. Hays succeeded, forcing the Lady Lobos to change pitchers following a double from Nadia Netek in the third inning.
“Their starting pitcher had a slower, more deliberate pitch than what we’re used to, and we had to get adjusted to that,” Cone said. “And when we did then they had to make the pitching change; so we had to do a lot of adjusting at the plate tonight and we did.”
On the opposite end, Natek was in complete control, allowing the one unearned run, while striking out six and walking only one batter.
She also performed well at the plate, getting the sacrifice that led to her team’s first run and hitting two doubles.
After getting the final out of the third inning, Lehman relief pitcher Kaylee Wipff struck out two batters, but walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.
The Rebels then orchestrated another two out rally. After the Lobos missed three catchable foul balls, Hays’ Abbie Blackwell hit a dramatic full count three-RBI triple to give Hays breathing room at 6-1.
Wipff and her teammates continued to struggle with walks and errors in what became the final frame of the game. With Hays up 10-1, Karina Rocha hit a crowd-pleasing, game-winning walk-off home run.
Cone said the team made a few changes after its loss to Lake Travis. They also “worked on some things” that they struggled with.
“[W]e have to continue to do a better job of adjusting at the plate, but overall we were much better,” Cone said. “I mean, defensively we played great, the pitching was great tonight, so overall I’m very pleased.”
Hays improves to 6-3, 2-1 in District 14-6A, while Lehman falls to 2-4, 0-1. Lehman has a tough assignment next up against Lake Travis, while Hays plays Anderson.