Ennis evens series with 14-8 triumph
Mark Warde, [email protected]
LUCAS — Rylie Robertson ripped a tie-breaking, two-run double to give the Ennis High School softball team a 10-8 lead en route to a 14-8 win over Lovejoy on Friday night in the Area Round playoffs.
The victory evened the best-of-three series at a game apiece. The decisive and third game is set for Saturday at 11 a.m.
Ennis scored the game’s final eight runs after the Lady Leopards took an 8-6 lead in the fourth. The team totaled seven hits and eight walks with two batters being hit by a pitch. Aggressive baserunning led to several costly Lovejoy throwing errors.
That is when Head Coach Rodney McNeill’s troops seized command of the game. They scored five times in the fifth and added three more in the sixth to earn the chance to win the series at home on Saturday.
“We were more disciplined at the plate,” Coach McNeill said. “Last night (Thursday) we let her (Lovejoy pitcher Danielle Brochu) off the hook by leaving too many runners on base.”
“Tonight,” he said, “we made things happen.”
Senior pitcher Taylor Maliska earned her 20th win by scattering seven hits over five innings. Unlike Thursday’s jittery effort by the Ennis defense, she benefitted by an improved showing on Friday. A key play occurred when speed-merchant Shelby Pruitt made a splendid, running catch in right-centerfield in the second.
Kayla Prachyl entered the game in the bottom of the fifth. The senior hurler responded by mowing down all nine batters she faced.
Robertson led the Lady Lions attack by rapping three hits in five trips to the plate. She drove in three. Julia Hollingsworth had four runs batted in and Kinsey Skroh added three. Both Lana Pate, a sophomore, and Martinez accounted for an RBI.
Junior second baseman Courtlyn Benetiz was a catalyst for the team. Four times she led off an inning and got on base to spark a scoring threat.
The winner of the series will take on Texarkana’s Texas High School. They swept Whitehouse 11-4 and 3-1.