By Kathi Bliss
On the heels of a big win and a crushing loss last week, the Lady Lions are still virtually guaranteed to cap off a rough season with a playoff bid, going into the final week of play tied for second in District 27-4A, behind reigning State Champions the Hays Lady Rebels.
The Lady Lions took a tough 4-5 loss to the Rebels on the road last week, with a seven-inning battle that the Lady Lions nearly won. Unfortunately, the Rebels were looking for payback after a 3-1 loss to the Lady Lions earlier in the season.
Hays took off fresh out of the gates as the game started, pulling ahead to a 4-0 lead during the first three innings of play. Lockhart plated their first run in the fourth, when courtesy runner Ileana Gonzales scrambled to home on a passed ball.
Both teams held solid during the next two innings, and the Lady Lions started to rally in the sixth as third-baseman Katrina Mills opened the inning with a stand-up double to left center.
The Lady Rebels made the choice to intentionally walk pitcher and power-hitter Gabby Ybarra, who was 2-2 with a double on the night. However, the Rebel coach did not count on Cheyenne Martin, the next batter, pounding a three-run home run with a shot over the center field fence.
After Martin’s big play, the Lady Lions ran out of time, failing to plate another run in the seventh, and ending the night on the short side of a 5-4 score.
Zierra Gonzales and Amanda Sigala both picked up singles in the game, while Martin went 2-3 with a double and her three-run homer.
On Saturday afternoon, the Lady Lions bounced back in fine form, securing a big win against Boerne Champion, with whom the Lady Lions are tied for second place in District this week.
The Chargers, plagued by errors and simply out-played by the Lady Lions, scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, with a few timely hits. By the bottom of the inning, though, the Lady Lions had found their stride and answered back with two runs of their own, earning a lead they would continue to increase over the next five innings of play.
Mills started the action for the Lady Lions with a single to center, and scored when Ybarra nailed a triple down the left field line. Martin offered up a single of her own to score Gonzales.
In the fourth inning, the Lady Lions offered up two more runs.
Destanie Mann reached first on an error by the Charger short stop, and Kendra Litchfield roped a double to right center, pushing Mann around the bases to score. Zierra Gonzales took her base on another infield error, which allowed Litchfield to score.
In the sixth the Lady Lions put up three more runs, having not yet allowed another Charger runner across the plate.
Pinch hitter Adriana Alonzo got things started in the sixth when she drew a walk. Aslynn Garcia followed up with a single to left center, and advanced Bella Ybarra to second. Both Garcia and Ybarra advanced on a passed ball, and Ybarra tagged up at third on a sacrifice fly off Mills’ bat.
G. Ybarra closed the Lady Lions’ scoring with a towering shot over the left-field fence, her first home-run in Lady Lion field.
The Chargers put together a short rally in the seventh, plating two runs before the Lady Lion defense locked down and ended the game at 7-3.
Despite the adversities they have faced this season, the Lady Lions are going into the last three games of regular season play with a 6-4 district record, and a strong shot at the playoffs.
“A lot of people counted us out through most of the season and had low expetations of this year’s team,” Head Coach Katy Snell said, after the Lady Lions lost starting pitcher Lilly Dupert to an injury, and had short stop Zierra Gonzales sitting out for three games with an injured knee. “Gabby has come in and done an amazing job for the circumstance she’s been put in, and [it’s not surprising] when I sit back and look at the kids we have. They are fighters; they have surpassed people’s expectations already, and look to continue on and push for more.”
The Lady Lions traveled to Alamo Heights on Tuesday and will host Parent and Senior Night on Friday, April 11, as they look for payback against the Lehman Lady Lobos, to whom they fell 2-1 earlier in the season.
District play ends on Tuesday, April 15, when the Lady Lions travel to Kerrville for a second shot at the Lady Antlers.
Support the Lady Lions at their final home game of the season at 7 p.m. on Friday, and check next week’s Post-Register for results, and updates on the Lady Lions’ rankings and playoff chances.