By Moses Leos III
A five run sixth inning Tuesday made the difference for the Hays Lady Rebels as they defeated the resilient Lehman Lady Lobos in a high scoring 17-9 slugfest at Lehman High.
With the win, Hays improves its district mark to 3-0, while Lehman falls to 0-3 in 14-6A play.
Hays didn’t waste time Tuesday in getting on the scoreboard early and often. The Lady Rebels tallied three runs in the first inning, followed by notching six runs in the second frame. Hays led Lehman 9-1 after two innings of play.
Lady Rebel head coach Lisa Cone said Hays came out hitting and driving the ball, which led to success.
But Cone said Hays “got comfortable” with a sizeable lead in its possession. Lehman took advantage by scoring eight unanswered points over the next several innings.
The Lady Lobos cut into Hays’ lead by scoring a run in the second inning, and two runs in the third frame. Lehman then broke the game open in the fourth when they scored five more unanswered runs to tie the score at 9-9.
Cone said fielding errors hindered the Lady Rebels, who committed 11 errors in the contest.
“We lost our focus. We totally lost focus and just panicked,” Cone said. “When we made all of those mistake, it turned one (error) into another.”
Lehman head coach Kita Adams said the Lady Lobos’ rally was aided by execution at the plate. She also said her team was “fired up and in attack mode.”
“We worked a lot this weekend on being more aggressive at the plate,” Adams said. “They stayed up and stayed in it. They attacked strikes and good pitches.”
Lehman rallied back to tie the contest at 9-9 heading ito the fifth inning. The Lady Rebels, however, responded back over the next two frames.
With two outs and a runner at second base, freshman Maxine Valdez delivered an RBI double to right field to give Hays a 10-9 lead in the fifth inning. Valdez scored after an RBI triple from senior Karina Rocha.
Valdez stepped up once again in the sixth inning as she delivered a triple with the bases loaded. Three runs scored on the play, with Valdez scoring a run on a Lehman error. Her runs comprised of a five run salvo from the Hays offense.
But for Valdez, fighting off numerous pitches during her at-bat in the sixth inning paid dividends.
“The bases were loaded and there was a little bit of pressure,” Valdez said. “But I knew I was going to come through.”
While she was proud of the win, Cone said her team couldn’t take anything for granted and approach things one game at a time.
“We have to focus on just making adjustments and playing defense,” Cone said. “There was no reason we should have had that many runs scored against us tonight.”