By TONY EIERDAM
“Maybe this is what we needed.”
Those were the spoken words of Mineral Wells Lady Rams head coach David Tarver moments after the Graham Lady Blues swatted four home runs en route to a 10-3 win Tuesday night in MWHS’ final non-district game of the year.
The Lady Rams will begin District 6-3A play at 7 p.m. Friday at Castleberry.
Although the Lady Rams could not match the Lady Blues’ offensive output, Tarver felt there were some positives.
The Lady Rams were again without the services of first baseman Allie Stephens – out with a injury but could be ready by Friday – which caused a position trickle affect that caused several players to play out of position.
All-state shortstop Bethany Allen was moved to catcher, and all-district catcher Reagan Patterson was moved to third base. The regular third baseman, Hope Patterson, drew starting pitching duties, and center fielder Makayla Nance started at shortstop.
“When we are not completely healthy, we have had people move to different positions and play well,” Tarver said. “But as far as the loss, this just shows us we need to be focused at all times and we just can’t walk on the field and expect to win.”
Hope Patterson took the loss in the circle, allowing six runs on six hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts in three innings.
Freshman Kelsey Keeton finished in the circle, allowing four runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Graham’s Macy Nantz was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
The Lady Rams took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame when Reagan Patterson belted a solo home run, her sixth of the year.
“Reagan is really swinging the bat well,” Tarver said. “She knew the wind was blowing out and just made sure she got it up in the air.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Blues were taking full advantage of a steady and strong wind blowing directly out to left field.
Graham hit four home runs in the first four innings to race out to a 7-1 lead.
The Lady Rams got two of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth.
Hope Patterson led off with a double, and the next batter, Keeton, drew a walk. Keeton was replaced at first base by courtesy runner Anaiz Mendoza.
Two batters later, both runners moved up a base when Molly Clarke reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases.
After Nantz struck out the next batter, Tabby Santibanez smashed a single that drove in Hope Patterson and Mendoza as MWHS cut the Graham lead to 7-3.
The Lady Blues added three more runs to close the scoring, but Nantz did not need the runs.
Nantz sent the Lady Rams down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to seal the win.
In the junior varsity contest, Graham defeated the Lady Rams, 12-9.
By TONY EIERDAM
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