Without their ace in the circle and coming off a 12-0 loss to Azle in their previous game, the Lake Dallas Lady Falcons were searching for defense and their first District 5-4A win.
Lake Dallas (10-8, 1-2 district) jumped on Denton in the first inning, used its defense through the middle innings and put the nail in the coffin with offense in the final inning as the visiting Lady Falcons beat the Lady Broncos 7-2 on Tuesday.
“We’re happy,” Lake Dallas coach Dugan Walker said. “It’s a good rivalry between us and Denton all the time. We needed to play well tonight, and I thought we played really well. We picked up some hits when we needed to pick up some hits, and we got [star pitcher Karissa Head] back. She’s been on the injured reserve. We’ve held her out trying to get her well.”
Amadi Taylor, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and a double, led off the first with a looping double to left field. Macey Bouman was able to drive home a run — with another scoring on an error — and Lake Dallas led 2-0.
Savannah Burkhalter started in place of the injured Head and surrendered a bases-loaded walk as Denton got to within 2-1, but she was able to get out of the inning with the lead and let Jaylee Calabrice take over for the rest of the game.
The Lady Broncos managed just one run off Calabrice.
“We had one that missed practice yesterday, so [Head] couldn’t start,” Walker said. “We scrambled around and tried to find a pitcher. We found a pitcher and she got us through the first inning so we could put the other girl in. That’s a pretty good deal. You go out and throw one inning, get ahead 2-1 and go win you a ballgame your first time to ever pitch a high school game. She did her job and she did what we asked her to do. It was a good team effort.”
After adding a run off a passed ball in the second, the Lady Falcons’ defense took over. Denton (5-12-1) had the bases loaded in the fifth inning, but Calabrice coerced the Lady Broncos into a fielder’s choice, a pop-up and a groundout to get out of the inning unscathed.
“We got out of a bases-loaded jam without giving up anything,” Walker said. “[Calabrice] beat them into the dirt. She popped them up. We made some catches. We threw people out at the plate. Our defense played outstanding. We’ve been pushing it and preaching it. Our defense came through big-time tonight.”
After Denton climbed to within 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lake Dallas defense delivered again by throwing out Natasha Kissell, the Lady Broncos’ starting pitcher, at home after Kissell and Jordan McLaren led off with doubles. The final two batters popped out and grounded out.
In the seventh, the Lady Falcons got to Kissell with two leadoff singles, a two-run double to the left field gap by Head and an RBI double to the opposite gap by Bouman.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Lake Dallas 7, Denton 2
WP – Savanah Burkhalter. LP – Natasha Kissell. 2B – L: Amadi Taylor, Macey Bouman, Chrisa Head. D: Jordan McLaren, Kissell.