If the rest of the District 7-4A softball games are anything like Tuesday evening’s league opener against Mineral Wells, coach Rus Mayes’ Honeybees could be in for a wild ride.
Madison Gilder drove in four runs with a double and a triple and Katie McIrvin had four hits and scored three runs to help the Honeybees post a 13-7 triumph McCleskey Field to gain a 1-0 district mark.
The Honeybees appeared to be on their way to a fairly routine win, leading 6-1 after four innings. But the Lady Rams struck for six runs in the top of the fifth, including a three-run home run that gave them the lead, 7-6.
The Honeybees turned things upside down again in the bottom of the frame. Stephenville rallied for seven runs, and held Mineral Wells scoreless in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
Mayes said he emphasizes winning at home, reminding his players to “guard the yard” when they are playing at McCleskey Field.
“We were only down by one run, so we felt confident we could come back,” Mayes said. “We kept our composure and battled back. Anytime you get that first district win, it definitely gives you a springboard into the rest of district.”
The Honeybees won despite being charged with seven fielding errors, some of which played a big part in the Lady Rams’ six-run fifth.
The SHS offense came through, however, with a 14-10 advantage in hits.
They included a run-scoring single by Katie Tomlinson that tied the game at 7 and a three-run triple by Gilder to put the Bees in the lead again, 10-7.
Bianka Garcia went the distance for the pitching victory. She allowed five earned runs on the 10 Mineral Wells hits, while striking out two and walking none.
In addition to the offensive contributions of Gilder and McIrvin, Tomlinson drove in two runs and went 3-for4 at the plate, and Skye Gaitan had two RBI.
Jessica Ebeling, Mallory Gunter and Emily Wehnert drove in one run each.
The Honeybees are scheduled to play at Glen Rose on Friday (varsity at 6:30 p.m.) as district play continues.
Stephenville’s next game will be Tuesday, March 26, at home against Godley.