FORT WORTH — With a chance to sweep its Class 4A area-round series against No. 7 Burleson Centennial on Friday, the Guyer softball team picked up where it left off from Thursday night’s win by scoring a run in the top of the first inning.
But once the Lady Spartans had a turn at the plate, the game turned sour for the Lady Wildcats in a 6-2 Centennial win to even the best-of-three series in front of a raucous crowd. The deciding Game 3 will be played at 7:30 tonight at Saginaw.
The game was exactly the same as Thursday’s, except the teams were flipped. It was Guyer (26-5) that committed four errors and fell behind 5-1 after two innings. Three of the five runs allowed were unearned.
“You can’t make that many mistakes against a team like that,” Guyer head coach Keith Medford said. “And we know that. It’s not like we were trying to do that. They put some pressure on us, and they executed. They were just better than us tonight. It happens. We’re going to bounce back tomorrow.”
In Thursday’s Game 1 victory, Guyer junior pitcher Shayne Starkey allowed just four hits and one run in a 69-pitch complete-game effort.
On Friday, Starkey’s fortunes changed.
Centennial (27-4) piled up eight hits, and the Lady Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning off two errors to answer the Lady Wildcats’ one run in the top of the inning.
“It was a combination of a couple of things,” Medford said of Starkey’s vastly different night. “I think we didn’t help her on defense and they got some timely hits, which is what a good team does.”
The Lady Spartans scored one of their first-inning runs on an illegal pitch from Starkey with a runner on third base. Soon after, the umpires stopped the game after a talk with Centennial coaches to tell the Guyer players they had to remove their multi-colored bows from their heads due to UIL rules saying they have to be school colors and uniform.
“There was a lot of weird stuff going on, but the bottom line is they played better softball than us,” Medford said. “None of that other stuff had anything to do with anything. They just played better than us tonight.”
Centennial pitcher Ashlee Gibson allowed just two hits and stranded four baserunners, while the Lady Wildcats had another baserunner cut down at third base on an RBI single from Tatum Branch in the fourth inning.
“Her defense didn’t let her down at all,” Medford said of Gibson’s performance. “She got out of a couple of jams, which she didn’t last night. I thought she did a real good job. We’re going to go to work tonight and see what we can do to try to get better.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Burleson Centennial 6, Guyer 2
WP — Ashlee Gibson. LP — Shayne Starkey. Records — Guyer 26-5, Burleson Centennial 27-4.