AREA SOFTBALL: Box's Inside-the-Park Grand Slam Sparks Wall's Dominant Comeback
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The Wall Lady Hawks have officially hit their stride after a dominant 24-8, come-from-behind win over the TLCA Lady Eagles on Friday.
"You've gotta give it to TLCA. They're a scrappy team. They fought the whole game," Wall head coach Steve Bain said. "We were lucky that the top of our lineup ... got some runners on. Ashlynn [Box] had a huge hit and I think that helped propel us on. Hitting is contagious."
TLCA held a 6-3 lead after the bottom of the third inning. Senior second baseman Ashlynn Box then dug in with the bases loaded for her third plate appearance and proceeded to drive a ball to right field for an inside-the-park grand slam to give the Lady Hawks a 7-6 lead they wouldn't surrender.
"When that happened, I was hoping it would be in the air going over," the Angelo State signee laughed. "But we were down and it needed to happen. So, it kinda put me on the spot and I did what I needed to do."
Box would finish the day 1-for-4 with four RBIs, three runs scored and a pair of walks to her name.
The go-ahead knock also extended Box's on-base streak to 44 games and her hitting streak to 18. For the senior, discipline has helped make her the toughest out in the area.
"You really have to be disciplined at the plate," Box emphasized. "The pitch might not always be there. You've gotta know your count, you've gotta know when the strike's coming. You've just gotta be disciplined and have confidence."
Friday's offensive outburst, marked by a 12-run seventh inning for Wall, was a long time coming for the Lady Hawks. They hadn't posted 20 runs or more since their 20-7 win over Idalou in the area round of playoffs last May.
Getting back on track offensively was a massive relief for Wall.
"We haven't had one [of those games] in a while," Box said. "Finally [we had] a solid hitting inning against a team like we're capable of doing. Whenever we were able to break through, we just kept hitting with no outs. It was a good feeling."
Junior pitcher Izzy Vera picked up the win in the circle after hurling seven innings and allowing eight runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts.
The 2018 All-Concho Valley selection has started to find her groove over the last few games. That's due to regained confidence in her infield for the pitch-to-contact pitcher with Box returning and Taylor Hunt coming into her own at shortstop.
"I feel like if I pitch it and they hit the ball, I know that I trust the people behind me to make plays on it," Vera said.
"[Pitching to contact], that's what they do," Bain said. "They believe and have bought into that. Once we got everybody back, confidence just went up. The infield is playing pretty well. We made some mistakes. It's understandable, they're young kids."
Hunt was a big player for the Lady Hawks' offense as well, going 4-for-6 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Payton Box, who was also regarded for her senior leadership behind the plate, went 4-for-4 with an RBI, three runs scored and two walks.
TLCA had a stellar showing from Macy Lawdermilk. She finished the day 2-for-4 with five RBIs to her credit.
McKenna Manley took the loss for TLCA after going six innings and allowing 17 runs on 10 hits and 10 walks. Manley faced the first five batters of the seventh inning without registering an out before Mattie Coxwell came on in relief.
Wall (7-16, 5-2) will look to keep their five-game win streak going when they host Brady on Tuesday. TLCA (5-20, 1-7) will travel to Brady on April 5.
Opportunistic Ballinger Capitalizes on Errors to Down Sonora
The Ballinger Lady Bearcats capitalized on 11 errors from the Sonora Lady Broncos and scored just two earned runs in an 11-6 win on Friday.
The Lady Bearcats got a big boost from the top of their lineup with Lauren Jalomo going 3-for-4 at the plate with three doubles. The only RBIs Ballinger picked up were from Elyssa Korn-Flores, Daniella Luna and Kelsey Hughes.
Sonora put a heavy dent into Ballinger's 6-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning by scoring four runs. The two teams matched each other for one run in the sixth inning to head to the final frame with Ballinger leading 7-5.
The Lady Bearcats tacked on another four runs in the seventh while the Lady Broncos only picked up one.
Brae Harris and Dekota Morrow combined for four RBIs on two hits to lead Sonora. Morrow picked up her RBIs on a two-run home run.
Luna picked up the win after allowing six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Sianne Alviso took the loss after allowing seven runs on seven hits in six innings.
Ballinger (8-5-1, 7-1) hosts Grape Creek on April 2. Sonora (4-16, 1-7) travels to Reagan County on April 2.
Mason Walks Off With Stranglehold of 5-2A Lead
Brigit Herrington's walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Mason Cowgirls to a 7-6 win over fellow title contender Harper on Friday.
Herrington fell behind 0-2 in the count with two outs before battling back to take the eighth pitch to left field for the win. That was her only hit of the game. It came after Jesse Armstrong drove in a run on an RBI ground out.
Mason fell behind 6-5 in the top of the sixth inning after Harper plated a pair of runs.
Kelcey Doss was the only Cowgirl to have a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Mason (11-7, 6-0) will travel to Junction on April 5.
Central Sweeps Weatherford With Run Rule Road Win
The Central Lady Cats put themselves right back into the thick of the District 3-6A playoff picture with a run rule win at Weatherford on Friday.
The Lady Cats (9-12-1, 3-4) will look to build on their consecutive wins when they travel to Euless Trinity on Tuesday.
This story will be updated.