— By GREG WEBB
Eight zeroes had been tacked on the scoreboard through the first four full frames by timely pitching and proficient defense on Thursday at Lady Roo Field.
Timber Creek’s Lady Falcons began a bunting campaign that eventually led to three runs in the top of the fifth in the Weatherford-hosted Class 5A Region I Bi-district match. A single and double, respectively, from TC’s Jasmine Cerda and Avery Grimes gave the Lady Falcons a lead that loomed particularly large considering the string of zeroes previously put on the board.
But the Lady Roos wasted little time in answering the fifth-inning deficit.
After WHS outfielder Courtney Cleveland’s 1-out walk, Ashleigh Erb’s single — one of Erb’s four hits on the night — set up yet another hit by Kelso O’Brien to load the bases.
Catcher Liz Konig put Weatherford on the board with a single stroke to center field, scoring Cleveland and Erb. With the go-ahead run at first in the 3-2 ball game, Abby Cowans’ drive to right was misplayed by the Timber Creek outfielder as the ball dribbled all the way to the wall.
By the time the ball was shuffled back to the infield, two more WHS runs had crossed home and Cowan was perched on third.
Kayla Gardner’s sacrifice grounder took care of Cowan’s final 60 feet, and the resulting damage by the Lady Roos was a 5-3 edge.
O’Brien chalked up her fourth strikeout in the 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. The Lady Roos managed another couple of runners in the bottom half, but could not push home another insurance run, setting up some more dramatics in the final frame.
After the Lady Falcons’ lead-off batter reached on an error, Brooke Stutz doubled to left and TC drew to within a run. Another single kept the threat alive.
But the inning, and game, ended abruptly when a line drive was snagged by Erb and the runner doubled off for the final out.
Game 2 moves to Timber Creek High School on Friday, with a scheduled start at 7 p.m. The struggle figures to be as contentious as the opener with identical lines of 10 hits and a pair of errors by each squad in the opener.
Following up Erb’s 4-hit night, catcher Liz Konig was 2-for-3 at the plate and she racked up a pair of RBIs.
Ariel Johns also had a 2-hit night for the Lady Roos.