CORINTH — Chrisa Head was determined to change things around as her Lake Dallas Lady Falcons faced a rematch with Trophy Club Nelson in District 5-4A.
“She’ll be the first to admit she’s struggled some [at the plate] in district,” Lake Dallas coach Dugan Walker said of the sophomore who doubles as his top pitcher. “She had been getting behind in the count, and the other pitchers were having their way.”
Not in Tuesday evening’s sixth inning. Head jumped on Ashley Dumoulin’s first offering and drove it far beyond the 200-foot center-field fence for a solo home run that lifted the Lady Falcons to a 2-1 win over the Bobcats.
It was the fourth and final hit of the night allowed by Dumoulin, a senior who no-hit Lake Dallas in the first round of district play.
“She had been throwing first-pitch strikes, and I was ready,” Head said of the belt-high serving that she turned around for her second round-tripper of the season. “In a tie game, I’m trying to find my pitch, and that felt really good.”
Walker was impressed.
“That ball went 220 feet into the wind and uphill,” he said.
The victory was the second in a row for Lake Dallas (15-8, 4-5 district). Nelson (19-8, 6-3) entered Tuesday in a three-way tie for second with Wichita Falls Rider and Guyer, behind league leader Fort Worth Brewer.
“We did a little better job the first time we played them, but Chrisa did a great job tonight,” Nelson coach Kathy Schoettle said. “We preach to our kids that you can’t take one pitch off in this district, and if you leave a ball in the [strike] zone, it leaves the park.”
Head warmed up her stroke with a third-inning single.
In the pitcher’s circle, she allowed only three hits but walked five batters and hit another, forcing her to work out of tight squeezes in the fifth and seventh innings. Two of Head’s five strikeouts were key, each coming on sweeping curveballs taken for strike three.
“Those situations make you a better player,” said the Lady Falcon hurler. “I wasn’t hitting my spots too well, so I was trying to move my ball, and my defense really had my back.”
Haley Gray, the Bobcats’ No. 8 hitter who reached base on all three of her trips to the plate, opened the fifth with a double to left. Emily Wood sacrificed her to third, and leadoff hitter Kenedi Jackson reached on a walk, then stole second without a throw.
With two runners in scoring position and only one out in a 1-all tie, Head notched a strikeout and a popup.
Brandishing a lead and needing two outs to secure the win, Head plunked Gray with a one-out pitch in the seventh. Wood’s groundout moved Gray to second, and Jackson worked her second walk. Head caught Aubree Spasic looking at strike three to nail down the win.
The Lady Falcons got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second. Kelsey Tuck reached when she was hit by a Dumoulin pitch, then advanced to third on a sacrifice and the game’s only error. Savannah Burkhalter singled to right for a 1-0 lead.
Gray quickly knotted the game at 1 in the third. She walked, moved up on another Wood sacrifice and scored on Spasic’s infield single.
Lady Falcon shortstop Amadi Taylor was perfect on four ground ball chances, turning a double play in the sixth. MaKenzie Chatham logged four assists and snagged a liner at third.
Gray, the Bobcat shortstop, also handled four grounders flawlessly, twice throwing out the speedy Taylor.
LAKE DALLAS 2, TROPHY CLUB NELSON 1
WP — Chrisa Head. LP — Ashley Dumoulin. HR — Chrisa Head, Lake Dallas. 2B — Haley Gray, Nelson; Amadi Taylor, Lake Dallas.