FORT WORTH — Ponder hasn’t had to play from behind much this season.
It’s a luxury the Lady Lions, ranked 20th in Class 2A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, enjoyed while winning 11 games in District 9-2A — several by double digits. Yet in Thursday’s Class 2A bi-district playoff opener, Grandview dialed up the heat to nab a 6-2 win in Game 1 at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.
The Lady Zebras (15-8-2) look to close out the series against Ponder (16-11) at 5 p.m. today in Game 2. If needed, Game 3 is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday. All games are at Chisholm Trail.
“They [Grandview] did a great job of not getting down when we got up on them early. We take a deep breath and next thing you know we are the ones behind,” Ponder coach Paige Wells said. “I think their coach [Tim Jackson] is a very good coach. He got his team prepared and he’s a confident coach. A confident coach means a confident team, too.”
Trailing 2-0 going into the third, Grandview managed two walks against Ponder ace Jessica Orozco. With two outs and runners on second and third, Lexi Meadows — Grandview’s pitcher — cut the deficit to one with an RBI single. Kasi Cummings then ripped a two-run single for a 3-2 lead.
It was a rough night for Orozco, who was touched for 10 hits despite striking out 12 batters. She wasn’t helped much by the Lady Lions’ defense, which committed four errors.
Meadows allowed just four hits while striking out six for the complete-game win. After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first, which included an RBI triple by Andie Beer, Meadows finished the game with three 1-2-3 innings. She didn’t surrender a hit after the fifth.
Ponder’s best chance for a late rally came in the bottom of the fifth. Karah Ortiz led off with a walk and Sage Stover followed with an infield single, but Grandview got the lead runner out on the next at-bat as Orozco reached on a fielder’s choice. Beer, who finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, then hit into an inning-ending double play.
In the next inning, Jobie Reeves drilled a triple to left field to extend the Grandview lead to two runs. After an RBI single from Lauren Starr pushed the lead to three, Kourtney Cummings tripled to give the Lady Zebras the 6-2 lead.
“I think the umpire was a little tight [with the strike zone] tonight,” Wells said. “It was the case on both sides, but while we were a little too patient at the plate, Grandview was able to put the ball in play and got some runs.”
Grandview 6, Ponder 2
WP — Lexi Meadows. LP — Jessica Orozco. 3B — G: Jobie Reeves, Kourtney Cummings. P: Andie Beer. Records — Grandview 15-8-2; Ponder 16-11.