No. 17 Stephenville held off a late Waco University rally to win 5-3 in a District 8-4A softball game at Waco ISD Sports Complex Thursday evening.
Stephenville ace Katelyn Conlee found herself in trouble in the bottom of the seventh, but just as the senior has done so many times before, she pitched her way out of it.
Runners reached third and second before there was an out, and both scored on wild pitches. But with the tying run in scoring position, University lifted a routine fly ball to Chelsea Baggett in right field to end the game.
“It was kind of chaotic there at the end, but that’s fitting since it’s been kind of a chaotic week” said first-year head Honeybee coach Rus Mayes of the finish to the game that was delayed two days because of rain early in the week. “But sometimes when things are like that, you just have to find a way, so we did.”
The Bees blew up for three runs in the second and never trailed.
Kaci Wells walked and Ashleigh Ballard and Ashlynn Mayfield each came away with infield singles to load the bases. Chelsea Baggett hit into an error that brought Ballard home, and Wells and Mayfield were plated an instant later when Haley Fritts blooped a single to center field.
Conlee got into other jams but pitched her way right back out each time.
That began in the second when University used a walk and a single to get runners on third and first with two down. Stephenville committed an error to bring in a run on a University double steal attempt, but Conlee fielded a ground ball herself to retire the inning with the Bees still up two.
Conlee also got out of a jam in the bottom of the third when a throwing error put University’s leadoff hitter at third base. The senior pitcher fielded a ground ball, checked the runner back to third and eventually picked the batter off at second for the first out. She then watched a bunt turn into the second out and retired the side by setting one down on strikes.
SHS added runs in the third and seventh. Pinch runner Ciara Dittfurth went from first to third on a bunt single by Leslie Billings then scored on an RBI single by Kaci Wells in the third. Pinch hitter Megan Elston had the hardest hit of the game for SHS, leading off the seventh with a double to the fence. Baggett ran for Elson and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Fritts then home on an RBI ground out by Chrislyn Wells.
The Bees are right back in action today, hosting Killeen at 7 p.m. following a 5 p.m. junior varsity game.
Follow SHS softball and Brad Keith on Twitter @etsports