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Ladycats walk off against Joshua to clinch Regional Quarter-final title


FORT WORTH - So often at this juncture of the playoffs, the difference between winning and losing comes down to the ability to capitalize on mistakes. That certainly ended up being the case on Thursday, May 9, as the Ladycats walked off in the bottom of the seventh inning against Joshua, 2-1, to capture the Class 5A Regional I quarterfinal championship at Chisholm Trail High School.

Stellar performances by both pitching staffs means runs came at a premium. The first four innings remained scoreless as both pitchers kept opposing hitters off-balance. Joshua scored first with a run in the top of the fifth, but Aledo answered right back with a run of their own in the home-half of the frame.

Still tied at a run apiece in the bottom of the ninth, Ana Flores popped the 2-1 offering high in the air just behind second base. The ball ricocheted off the infielder’s glove on its way to the turf as Flores pulled into first safely.

With one out and the winning run on first base, Ladycats head coach Heather Myers gave Flores the steal sign with the 1-1 pitch to Marina Taveras on the way. Flores made it safely into second as the throw came in to put the winning run in scoring position.

Taveras got a good piece of the 2-1 pitch, driving it foul as Flores returned to second base. On the next pitch, Taveras hit the middle of the softball, sending it right back up the box and into center field for a single. Myer waved Flores home as the throw from the outfield sailed over the catcher, hitting the backstop and Flores crossed the plate to win the game.

Elated, the Ladycats rushed out of the dugout to celebrate the win as they engulfed Taveras for coming up with the clutch base hit.

The Ladycats celebrate their walk-off win over Joshua to clinch the Regional Quarter-final championship on Thursday, May 9.
The Ladycats celebrate their walk-off win over Joshua to clinch the Regional Quarter-final championship on Thursday, May 9.

“We talk about mental toughness at practice,” Myers said after the game. “Last week we talked about discipline at the plate. But, we’ve also been hitting on manufacturing runs. We know that it’s going to be tough, so we know we’re going to have to manufacture runs. 

“One through nine [in the lineup], we can bunt. I think that’s lethal. We have the hard hitters, but our four-hole hitter can put it down for a bunt if we need her to.”

Both teams struggled to manufacture runs against stalwart pitching inside the circle. Texas Tech-commit Brenlee Gonzales got the starting nod for the Ladycats. She threw five complete innings of three-hit softball while surrendering a lone run in the top of the fifth. 

Taylor McKean came on in relief to start off the sixth inning. McKean struggled with her command more than usual, but battled her way through while finding ways to hit her spots and make quality pitches when she had to. 

“ are nails,” Myer commended. “If people want to keep flipping us for one game, they’re going to see both pitchers, and they’re going to have to adjust to both pitchers. And good luck! That’s my advice. 

“I’m so proud of them. They don’t miss many pitches. They’re throwing what I’m calling, and they’re hitting their spots.”

Aledo’s defense in the field was impeccable. In such a tightly contested ballgame where the Ladycats couldn’t afford to give Joshua any extra opportunities, they played a clean game in the field. Delaney Rosser capped off the defensive performance with a play of the year candidate in the top of the second inning. 

With two away, the Joshua batter smoked a low line drive towards the gap between first and second. Rosser made a diving play for the ball, but the ball had so much velocity behind it, Rosser’s glove was yanked off her hand as she crashed to the turf. Rosser jumped to her feet, barehanded the ball, and threw a strike to Taveras at first to retire the Lady Owls.

With Joshua in the rearview window, Aledo moves on to the regional semifinals Lubbock Monterrey (24-11-3). The best-of-3 series begins on Friday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m., with Game 2 Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. If a third game is necessary it will be played 30 minutes after Game 2.

All games will be played at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.

Class 5A Region I
softball quarterfinals

Aledo vs. Joshua – Thurs,
May 9                                             

    R   H   E

Joshua 0 0 0 0 1 0   0 -   1   3  4

Ladycats 0 0 0 0 1 0     1 -  2  5  0

Aledo hitting: Delaney Rosser HBP, BB; Ana Flores 1-for-4, R, RBI, SB; Marina Taveras 1-for-4, RBI; Brenlee Gonzales 1-for-2; Rylee Marx 1-for-3; Austyn Marriage 1-for-1, BB; Jordyn Edington BB, SB.

Aledo pitching: Brenlee Gonzales 5 IP, 3 H, R (earned), BB, 4 K; Taylor McKean 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.


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