MINERAL WELLS — Both the Mineral Wells High School baseball and softball teams were in action Tuesday night on their home fields against the visiting Brownwood Lions. In each game, the visitors set the tone early as the respective Brownwood teams plated five runs apiece in the first three innings to build comfortable leads that would not be relinquished. Mineral Wells fell 13-3 in five innings on the baseball field while the Lady Rams lost 7-1 on the softball diamond.

Although the Lady Lions succeeded in taking control of the game early, the Lady Rams felt that sharper execution could have painted a different picture in the final outcome.

“They (Brownwood) didn’t really hit the ball hard all night, we just didn’t make plays defensively,” Lady Rams head softball coach Jerry Tomlin said. “When we make plays defensively, we’re a pretty good team. Unfortunately, I thought tonight our poor play defensively carried over and we took it in the box with us. There’s no excuses, we need to be better in a lot of spots.”

The Lady Rams committed five errors in the contest and left four runners on base, and Tomlin said the latter has been a theme of sorts this season. Tomlin said he is looking for his girls to perform in the clutch and execute the right plays during the right situation, and he feels confident his team can clean things up moving forward.

Furthermore, he touted his team’s resilience. After failing to score during the game’s first five innings and trailing 6-0, the Lady Rams plated a run via a Brownwood miscue in the bottom of the sixth. The run followed a close play at the plate, where a potential score was erased at home plate by Brownwood catcher Chloe Walls. At that point, the deficit was 6-1, which was the closest the Lady Rams got.

Mineral Wells sophomore Tatum McMinn, and juniors Caitlyn Colwell and River Pugh each recorded a single for the Lady Rams while sophomore Karli Aaron scored the team’s lone run. Pugh also logged four innings on the mound, surrendering five hits, six runs (one earned) and added a strikeout. Colwell relieved Pugh for the final three innings of the game. She gave up a hit and one run and fanned one Lady Lion batter.

Mia Lopez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored from the plate while Walls finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored to lead Brownwood.

The Lady Rams will take the field again at 6:30 p.m. Friday against the same Lady Lions squad at Brownwood High School.

Rams baseball team falls to district-leading BrownwoodOn the baseball field, the district leaders in Brownwood raced to a 5-0 advantage, highlighted by a towering two-run homer to left field off the bat of Brownwood’s Cole Miller. The Lions tallied those five runs within their first six outs of the contest, but the Rams generated some offense in spite of the deficit.

Mineral Wells plated a run in the bottom of the second to cut into the deficit and nearly did more damage, but the two-out rally came to a close on a strikeout as the home team trailed 5-1. In the game’s later stages, the Rams fell behind the Lions 13-1, but Mineral Wells tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. In that frame, the Rams crossed home plate twice and seemed to be building momentum, but one final popup to second base ultimately ended the threat and the contest.

“Most of the scores of our games inside and outside of our district have been pretty close all season,” Rams head baseball coach Scott Ritchey said. “I think our guys are really enjoying what they’re doing and, when they enjoy what they’re doing, they stay in it.”

Even in the face of defeat, Ritchey touted his team’s camaraderie and work ethic both in the short- and long-term. Ritchey was encouraged by the way his team played and conducted itself during the game, which he believes will translate into a strong culture and an even brighter future.

Offensively, Braden Etheridge finished 3-for-3 from the plate with a double while Owen Gadd, Preston Mendez, Adrian Holifield and Mason Facteau registered one hit apiece. Braeden Wells scored two runs for Mineral Wells and Gadd scored the other run.

Defensively, Gixxer Patterson pitched four innings for the Rams and struck out two batters while surrendering 12 hits, eight earned runs and three walks. Clayton Etheridge totaled 1.1 innings pitched and allowed one hit, one earned run and three walks.

Miller led the way for Brownwood with an impressive two-way performance. He pitched three shutout innings on the mound, surrendering one hit and one walk while striking out four batters. At the plate, he finished 4-for-5 with seven RBI and one run scored, highlighted by his early two-run home run.

The Rams will play on the diamond once more at 7 p.m. Friday at Brownwood High School in the second half of the district home-and-home series.

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