MIDLOTHIAN - The Midlothian Lady Panthers (26-10) captured statewide attention Thursday night with a 5-4 victory over Hewitt Midway (28-4), ranked No. 1 in the Lone Star state.
Midlothian roughed up Midway pitcher Lizzy Kelly for 11 hits and five earned runs over the nine innings.
Midway answered with seven hits and four runs off winning pitcher Lindsay Fallen.
“For us it was all about a team effort,” Midlothian coach Jennifer McFalls said. “Our team never quit — never went away. We took control of the game and never felt like they got control. We just wanted it (the win). And it paid off for us in the end.”
Midlothian struck for four runs in the bottom of the third inning when Melissa Lloyd sent a line drive single to left. Alyce Trevino laid down the sacrifice bunt to move the runner into scoring position.
Tori Benavidez hit the ball off the center field wall for a triple and the RBI. Megan Curry put down the squeeze bunt to score the fleet Benavidez.
Brittany Caruthers moved Curry to second with a ground ball out to second.
Jessica Moore ripped a 2-1 fast ball over the left field fence to put the host Lady Panthers on top 4-0.
Midway stormed right back in the top of the fourth to even the score.
Holley Gentsch led off with a double followed by Lauren Griffith’s walk. Rebecca Pryor rapped a single to right score both runners.
Alyssa Ramirez reached on a single and went to second on an error. Jessica Booker made the first out of the inning when she lifted a fly ball to the outfield to move the runner to third.
Pinch hitter Kayla Howard rapped the ball off the left field wall for a double to end the Midway’ scoring.
Neither team was able to push across the go ahead run in regulation play.
In the bottom of the eighth, Midlothian’s Chelsea Peel reached first on an error and went to second when the errant throw went into the dugout.
Lloyd had her second hit of the game when she singled to deep short with Peel taking third on the throw.
But Kelly was able to retire the side with a strikeout to send the game into the deciding ninth inning.
For the first time in the game Midway went down in order. Benavidez started the Midlothian half of the inning with an infield single to short.
Curry put down another sacrifice bunt to move the fleet Midlothian center fielder to second.
Brittany Caruthers hit the ball back to the pitcher and was thrown out at first with the both runners advancing into scoring position
Moore came to the plate with a pair of singles and a home run in four appearances.
She brought the fans to their feet when she rapped an off speed pitch well over the left field wall, but it was foul by several feet.
Moore then hit the ball back to the pitcher, who turned and fired the ball to first. Benavidez then raced for home for the winning run.
Midlothian now heads for the Region II semifinals for the third consecutive year.
The last two trips resulted in losses to Justin Northwest both in three-game series.
Midlothian will face the winner of the Frisco-Forney quarterfinal matchup next week.
Midlothian 5, Waco Midway 4 (9)
Waco Midway 000 400 000 — 4 7 2
Midlothian 004 000 001 — 5 11 2
WP — Lindsay Fallen. LP — Lizzy Kelly. 2B —WM: Kayla Howard, Holley Gentsch. 3B — MD: Tori Benavidez. HR — MD: Jessica Moore.
Records — Midway 28-4; Midlothian 26-10.