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Host JV Lady Lion softball opens tourney strong at 3-0

Every team wants to deliver the goods on its home turf, and the JV Lady Lion softball team was able to do just that on Thursday morning in its Ennis Tournament.
Overcoming a relentless strong wind, Ennis dominated Mabank and Alvarado before avenging a tough loss earlier in the season against Athens.

Ennis 20
Mabank 1
There’s no telling how many runs the Lady Lions would’ve scored in their 10 a.m. opener if each inning didn’t have a five-run limit.
“I was just happy to see the team up and awake, because our last two games before 11 a.m. didn’t turn out too well for us,” said coach Tim Lawrence.
“The wind was terrible and I don’t know how any of the pitchers could throw strikes. Our infielders had dirt in their eyes all day, but the girls are serious about this tournament.”
Hannah Farris annihilated Panther pitching with an inside-the-park homer, two triples and six RBIs. Alexis Morales (two singles, two RBIs) and Taylor Garcia (double, single) both tallied multi-hit games of their own.
In three innings of work, Amanda Campbell (0 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 4 SO) took care of business in the circle.
The visitor in all three games, Ennis jumped out to a 5-0 lead with hits from Garcia (single), Jordan Morris (single) and Mary Boggan (RBI double). Campbell struck out two of the four batters she faced in the Panther first as right fielder Jamey Kelly hauled in a fly.
“Amanda gave us a great performance with only two walks in that wind to help us win the way we did,” Lawrence said.
The second inning saw big hits to left field from Morales (RBI single) and Farris (two-RBI triple), while Morris (RBI fielder’s choice) and Boggan (RBI, safe on error) both helped build the lead. Once again, Campbell struck out two of the four batters she faced for a 10-0 lead.
The Lady Lions kept pouring it on at the plate in the third, led by Farris (two-RBI triple), Morales (RBI single) and Garcia (double). Catcher Morris made the defensive play of the day in the Panther third, diving to snag a weak popup behind the plate in a 15-1 game.
“Taylor is swinging the bat well and getting on base consistently for us in recent weeks,” Lawrence said.
“Alexis is another hot bat for the team right now. I didn’t know Jordan caught the ball at first, but she came up with it in the wind and that was an unbelievable effort in a game we were dominating.”
After walks put Ennis in great position for more production, Farris capped off her huge game with a two-run inside-the-park homer to left field that finalized the score.
“It makes coaching fun when you’ve got players having the kind of success Hannah did,” Lawrence said.
“Her hand was getting sore from giving me five so much. Hannah has big games every time she plays for us and it really filters down to the rest of the team.”

Ennis 12
Alvarado 2
The competition became progressively tougher for the Lady Lions, as Alvarado was much better than Mabank and yet still an inferior opponent.
“I was able to put in four girls who didn’t play in the Mabank game and it was great to get everybody in there,” Lawrence said.
“Alvarado’s pitching was a little better, but we weren’t holding back with the bats.”
Four Lady Lions came away with two hits against the Indians, including Farris (double, single, two RBIs), Amber Elliott (two singles, two RBIs), Morris (two singles, RBI) and Reba Melkovitz (double, single). Breanna Lambeth took care of business in the pitching department (3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 4 SO).
Offensive production came fast and furious in the first as Morris (single), Morales (single), Farris (RBI single), Elliott (two-RBI single) and Boggan (RBI groundout) all made their presence felt for a 5-0 lead. Three Ennis errors in the bottom of the inning helped Alvarado get back in the game at 5-2, but Lambeth only allowed a single hit while striking out two.
“Breanna was hard on herself early in the game, but she hung tough and really did a good job,” Lawrence said.
“Amber was really swinging the bat well today. She made some adjustments in practice and it paid off.”
Melkovitz opened the Ennis second with a double down the left field line and sped on to third after a throwing miscue. Morris (RBI single) and Farris (RBI double) both made solid contact into left field as the lead swelled to 10-2. Lambeth fanned two of four Indians in the bottom of the inning.
“Reba wasn’t going to stop at first on that double and then she headed to third when they made a mistake,” Lawrence said.
“You have to love her effort. Jordan will battle at the plate every time.”
Elliott and Melkovitz each singled in the third to help their team go up by 10. In the bottom of the inning, Alvarado went quietly as third baseman Garcia, Lambeth and shortstop Farris each fielded groundouts.

Ennis 7
Athens 6
In stark contrast to the first two opponents, the Athens Hornets had previously defeated Ennis 12-1 in their tournament this season. Both coach and player knew the Lady Lions were capable of much better in the rematch.
“Athens didn’t beat us last time, we beat ourselves,” Lawrence said.
“We got off to a bad start and couldn’t recover, but we were a different team today.”
“The loss in Athens was our fault, so this was a big confidence boost for our team to pull out a close game,” Morales added.
“We had a lot of energy and motivation to win this time.”
From the opening moments, Ennis let the Hornets know it meant business as Taylor Kubin smacked a single to left field. Two batters later, Morales popped an RBI single into right field for a 1-0 advantage. Only a double play saved Athens from falling farther behind.
“Taylor had two strikes on her and ripped that ball into left field,” Lawrence said.
“It set the pace for the entire game.”
“It was exciting to help us score that first run in a game we really wanted,” Morales said of her RBI single.
After pitcher Farris (3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 W, HBP, 1 SO) issued a couple of walks, Athens made some bad mistakes on the bases for a double play. Second baseman Kubin then hauled in a fly to get her team off the field.
While Garcia opened the second inning with a single to left, an error on a Boggan grounder with two outs really hurt the Hornets as Ennis went up 2-0.
Like a quality team should, however, they responded in the bottom of the inning with a single and a two-RBI single to pull ahead 3-2. Kubin continued her stellar showing at second with a fielded groundout and also made the catch when Morris threw out a baserunner to end the inning.
“Taylor’s defense was really impressive for us, especially in the Athens game,” Lawrence said.
In need of an answer after losing the lead, the Lady Lions rose to the occasion. Just like she started the game, Kubin drilled a line single to the outfield.
After Morris reached on an error, Morales stepped up with a two-RBI single to right field that put her team ahead for good at 4-3. Later in the inning, Elliott and Boggan each came through in the clutch with RBI singles for a commanding 7-3 cushion.
“Alexis finished strong and had a good day,” Lawrence said.
“When you produce in a close, relatively low-scoring game like she did, it was the difference in the game. Mary is an excellent hitter and she made all the catches at first base. She is also such a great motivator for the other players.”
While a leadoff double and three errors nearly cost Ennis in a game it desperately wanted to win, the Lady Lions managed to hold the lead with time running low. After shortstop Kelly and third baseman Garcia fielded groundouts, Farris’ only strikeout of the game iced the big win.
“Hannah is a great player and she’ll do anything to help the team,” Morales said.
“She did a great job against a good hitting team by keeping the ball low,” Lawrence added.

Ennis will look to maintain its winning ways when the tournament resumes on Saturday at 11 a.m. The team also has a 5 p.m. meeting tonight with Lancaster at home.
“We’re really excited heading into Saturday and if we can cut down our errors we should be in good shape,” Morales said.

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Posted by on Mar 31 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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