The quick hook of Guyer coach Keith Medford and some fast swings by his Lady Wildcats did the job Friday night.
As rock beats from one of the city’s music festivals served as unwanted accompaniment to the proceedings at Denton High, Guyer exploded for a five-run second inning en route to a 6-3 win over the Lady Broncos in District 5-4A action.
The Lady Wildcats (14-1-1, 2-0 district) picked up nine hits off Denton pitcher Natasha Kissell, including two apiece by center fielder Kennedy Been and shortstop Kaitlyn Thomas.
Been slugged an RBI triple in the first, and second baseman Kylie Miyata doubled in the fifth but was stranded during what turned out to be the scoreless final five innings of the game.
The Lady Broncos (11-4-1, 0-2) held a 2-1 lead and scored three runs in their first two at-bats. Kissell and right fielder April Van Hoose each picked up a pair of Denton’s six hits.
But Denton managed only two hits off relief pitcher Shayne Starkey after the second inning.
Starkey moved from first base to the pitcher’s circle after starting pitcher Suzette Palmer retired just one of the five batters she faced, helpless to keep Denton from going up 2-1.
“We’ve been in that situation with both of our pitchers,” Medford said of the early trouble. “For whatever reason, the other team had their timing down on her.
“[Palmer and Starkey] are real good at doing whatever we need to win the game. They work well together. I just felt it was time to do something before it got too crazy.”
A five-run inning is no small matter in a low-scoring game. And Lady Broncos coach Rhana Ramos knew it did her team in.
“I think we’re one inning away from winning the game,” she said. “But we struggled in that inning and kind of got down on ourselves. We need to make sure our confidence stays high and we stay in games.”
Mikayla McMaster and Jessica Juarez had just slugged back-to-back RBI singles to put Denton in front when Starkey entered and struck out the first two batters she faced.
The Lady Wildcats scored all their second-inning runs with two outs. Lauren Lindgren singled with one out, and back-to-back RBI singles by Hannah Hodapp and Thomas made it 3-2.
A walk and an infield error loaded the bases before Guyer extended the inning with a weird play. Kissell struck out Been swinging at a low ball, but also missing it was freshman catcher Maddie Green, and the ball went to the backstop.
Been ran to first and one run scored, keeping the bases loaded. Megan Washam followed with a two-run single before Kissell got Miyata to ground out to end the inning.
The Lady Broncos got one run back in the bottom of the second when Starkey walked the first two batters, helped herself by turning a line drive to the circle into a double play, then surrendered an RBI single to Kissell.
After that, only Van Hoose reached base for Denton, on her fourth- and seventh-inning singles. She was doubled off second when the umpire ruled she’d wandered too far from the bag after a sacrifice bunt.
Guyer also got a fielding gem from right fielder Molly Dolezel, who raced to the foul line to snag Kissell’s fifth-inning liner.
Guyer had scored first on Been’s first-inning triple down the right field line. It knocked in Thomas, who had walked to lead off the game.
The Lady Broncos also got a leadoff walk, from Allie Shelton. Thanks to Kissell’s single, they had runners at first and second in the bottom of the first when McMaster singled to left and Juarez to right, making it 2-1 and setting up the one-out pitching change.
Starkey struck out five overall, allowing three hits, two walks and one run. Kissell worked a 1-2-3 third inning and gave up one hit in each of the final four innings. She struck out six in the game, walking three.
Guyer 6, Denton 3
Guyer 150 000 0 — 6 9 1
DHS 210 000 0 — 3 6 2
WP — Shayne Starkey. LP — Natasha Kissell. 3B — Kennedy Been, Guyer; 2B — Kylie Miyata, Guyer.