The Guyer Lady Wildcats don’t panic. They’ve trailed several times this season and have recovered for victories.
So on Thursday night at Wildcat Field, when District 5-4A rival Denton took a significant chunk out of the Lady Wildcats’ armor with a three-run second inning, they were unfazed.
Guyer matched Denton’s outburst with a three-run inning of its own while shutting the door on the Lady Broncos’ offense and finishing them off with a five-run sixth inning to claim a 10-3 victory.
“I’ve got to give them [the Lady Broncos] credit,” Guyer head coach Keith Medford said. “They came out swinging the bats in the second inning, and when they had their chances they scored some runs. I’ve got to take my hat off to them there, but I was proud of how my kids didn’t panic. We don’t ever panic. We’ve been behind in ballgames before. Even though they’re young, I think they do a good job of not getting overwhelmed by stuff like that.”
The Lady Wildcats had a 1-0 lead after Shayne Starkey’s RBI groundout drove in leadoff hitter Tara Solomon, who reached on one of two Denton errors.
With Starkey starting in the circle, the Lady Broncos struck in the second with a leadoff double by Jessica Juarez, a single by Cori Wilkinson and a walk by Makayla McMaster. Jordan McLaren’s fielder’s choice tied the game at 1, and back-to-back singles by Miranda Seal and pitcher Natasha Kissell gave the Lady Broncos a 3-1 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Avery Williams in the second inning got Guyer to within 3-2.
In the third, Guyer’s bats began to heat up. Hannah Hodapp walked to lead off and stole second, and Lauren Lindgren singled her home to even the game at 3. Alyssa Dixon and Riley Oldham added RBI singles to help the Lady Wildcats secure a 5-3 lead.
Lindgren relieved Starkey to start the third and allowed just two hits the rest of the game to go with four strikeouts.
“Shayne is our horse and we always ride her as much as we can,” Medford said. “Sometimes they have her number. She knows that. She’s a team player. Her and Lauren work great together. I think they’re pretty contrasting in their styles, so I think that’s a pretty good combination.”
Threatening in the fifth inning to no avail, the Lady Wildcats broke the game open with five runs in the sixth, with every batter seeing the plate. Lindgren’s fielder’s choice scored two runs and Starkey backed that up with a solid shot to right field for an RBI triple. Tatum Branch added a two-run single to left.
“We’ve been doing that all year, and I can’t put my finger on it,” Medford said of the team’s ability to hit up and down the lineup. “I don’t ask questions about that. When you hit you hit, but we know that pitching and playing defense is going to win us ballgames, and I thought those things were really good tonight. The hitting was great, but I don’t think you can rely on the hitting as much as the pitching and the defense.”
Denton (5-13-1, 1-3 district) and Guyer (15-3, 2-2) entered Thursday’s game with equal district records at 1-2. Guyer was riding a two-game losing streak with a 9-3 loss to Fort Worth Brewer and its most recent 8-7 loss to Azle.
Medford knew the matchup with crosstown rival Denton was going to test his team, and he expects the district schedule to be even more challenging than it was last season.
“We knew Natasha was going to bring it,” Medford said. “Every game is big because I think in this district, especially this year, I think anybody could get those four [playoff] spots. It’s going to be fun to battle it out and see what we can do. On any given night, anybody can beat anybody, and we hope to be in the hunt at the end.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Guyer 10, Denton 3
WP – Lauren Lindgren. LP – Natasha Kissell. 2B – G: Shayne Starkey. D: Jessica Juarez. 3B – G: Starkey.