HURST — This was one game Guyer let get away.
Needing just two outs to close out a victory, instead, the Lady Wildcats committed an error and ended up allowing three runs in the top of the seventh inning Friday night, falling to eighth-ranked Aledo 5-4 in Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 4A regional quarterfinal series.
“I’m not going to say any one play cost us the game,” Guyer coach Keith Medford said. “There were a ton of plays that could have made the difference. A lot of things happened out there that we could look back at, but that was a good game and a good effort. This group will bounce back, they have all season.”
The season is on the brink for the Lady Wildcats (27-6). They must win Game 2 at 1 p.m. today back at Hurst L.D. Bell or their season will end for the second year in a row at the hands of Aledo (26-4), which went to the state tournament last year. A Guyer victory will force a third and deciding game 30 minutes after Game 2 is completed. The winner of the series faces Wolfforth Frenship or Canyon Randall in the regional semifinals.
Guyer seemingly had control of this one after Shayne Starkey crushed a two-out, two-run triple to spark a three-run fifth inning to give the Lady Wildcats a 4-2 lead. Starkey was also in control on the mound. To that point in the game, she had allowed just three hits. One of the hits was a big one, a two-run home run to Texas A&M-bound Riley Sartain in the fourth inning.
Starkey, the left-hander, would retire the Ladycats in order in the fifth and sixth innings. But Aledo would rally in the seventh.
Down two runs, Megan Mason led off for Aledo with a single and with one out, Kadyn Kirkpatrick lifted a fly ball to shallow right-center. Guyer center fielder Alyssa Dixon chased it down, but the ball dropped out of her glove. Pinch hitter Ally Gabbert singled to score Mason and advance courtesy runner Bree Stasbourg to third. Alli Ramsey lined out to Starkey and the Lady Wildcats were one out away.
But Haylee Bowden delivered a two-run single up the middle and Aledo was up 5-4. Guyer threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Hannah Hodapp hit a two-out single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Tara Solomon walked before being forced at second on a Starkey grounder to end the game.
The Lady Wildcats will also look back at the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs, but could only get one run home. Guyer outhit Aledo 9-6, but also left five runners stranded.
“We’ve got to put the ball in play,” Medford said. “We knew it was going to a tough game, so we know what we’re up against.”
Aledo 5, Guyer 4
W — Lauren Craine. L — Shayne Starkey. HR—A: Riley Sartain. 3B—G: Shayne Starkey.