BROCK — The 10th-ranked Stephenville Honeybees saw their softball season come to a close last weekend, losing a best-of-three Class 4A area playoff series to Brownwood in a deluxe pitchers duel played at Brock High School.
The Lady Lions reached the state semifinals last season, losing to eventual state champion LaGrange.
Junior pitching ace Julia Flores of Stephenville pitched three outstanding games against the Lady Lions, but Brownwood had its own deadly hurler — sophomore Chyanne Ellett.
After Stephenville (24-6) held on for a 2-1 win in the first game of the series, Brownwood responded with a 2-1 victory of its own later that night to tie the series 1-1.
On Saturday, Ellett threw a one-hitter to get the win on the mound as the Lady Lions scored the only run of the contest on a double in the top of the eighth inning.
That sent the 28-6 Lady Lions to the third round of the playoffs against Vernon.
Flores was last year’s Pitcher of the Year in District 6-4A as a sophomore, Ellett was voted by the coaches as the Most Valuable Player. Flores had missed the Honeybees’ bi-district playoff sweep over Springtown because of a strained ligament in her throwing (right) hand.
Flores allowed four hits Saturday, after giving up six hits in each of the first two games of the series.
Ellett allowed four hits in Game 1 and two in the second game before her one-hitter in the deciding battle.
In the first game Friday, Brownwood took a 1-0 lead on a double in the top of the fourth inning. The Honeybees prevented a second run from scoring in the inning by throwing a baserunner out a home plate.
Morgan DiCiccio’s run-scoring single down the right-field line in the bottom of the sixth inning tied the game 1-1. A throwing error by the Lady Lions on a bunt by Madison Gilder allowed Samantha Luna to score from third base for Stephenville’s 2-1 lead.
Flores got out of a jam in the top of the seventh inning to close out the game, leaving Brownwood baserunners stranded at second and third base.
In Game 2, Brownwood again took an early 1-0 lead as a runner was called safe at home just ahead of a throw from the outfield in a disputed call.
In the top of the fourth inning for SHS, Gilder beat out an infield single and later scored on a throwing error by Brownwood’s catcher. That made it 1-1.
But the Lady Lions picked up the deciding run in the fifth inning on an RBI single following an outfield error and another single.
In Saturday’s contest, Luna had a single for the only hit of the day for the Honeybees.
Ellett struck out 16 batters in that game and walked only one. She struck out 12 in Game 1 and 14 in the second game.
Flores struck out five and walked one in Saturday’s matchup. She recorded 17 strikeouts in the series. Flores gave up six hits in each of the first two games, and four on Saturday.