The Waxahachie softball team got just what the doctor ordered Friday night against Mansfield Summit. A hot start.
After getting completely shut down earlier in the week against Ennis, the Lady Indians needed to get a little confidence back and get their bats going early. The team did just that by putting up eight runs in the first inning en route to a 15-5 win against Mansfield Summit.
“I think that was what we needed,” Waxahachie coach Stephen Howell said. “We had a rough night the other night, but this will hopefully get our heads back on straight and we won’t be too down about that any more.”
Waxahachie had just one hit against Ennis and that total was equaled on the first batter of the game as Miranda Herron tripled to right field to get the offense jump started. Marissa Hooper then brought her home immediately with an infield single to short.
Hailey Winningham checked into the game to courtesy run for Waxahachie’s catcher and she was tested immediately as Ariel Ortiz tripled her home. An errant throw to third allowed Ortiz to come all the way around to score to make it 3-0 just three batters into the game.
“I think that’s just what we needed,” senior pitcher Brooke Goad said. “We needed to come out and prove that we can still hit and that we aren’t as bad as we played the other night.”
Goad drew a walk to keep the rally going and an infield single by Cheyenne Fults and a walk to Anna Wilhoite loaded the bases for Victoria Pannill. A wild pitch allowed Goad to score then a base hit by Pannill scored Fults. Pannill took second on the throw then moved up to third when Wilhoite scored on a wild pitch during Cassie Hayes’ at bat.
The senior outfielder then drew a walk and stole second to get runners on second and third with one out for Herron again. She smoked one right at the third baseman then a bad throw allowed Pannill and Hayes to score to complete the eight-run first inning.
Summit then made a pitching change and put its regular start on the mound, but it was too little, too late at that point as it was just a matter of time before Waxahachie built up enough of a lead to get the mercy rule called.
Ortiz walked to lead off the second. Goad grounded out to move Ortiz to second. Fults then ripped a single, which allowed her to score and make it 9-0. The next two batters walked to load the bases and then a bad throw from the catcher back to the pitcher allowed Fults to swipe home from third and make it 10-2 after two innings.
In the third, Ortiz reached on an error and Goad made the Lady Jaguars pay by drilling a home run to straight away center to make it 12-5.
“I never try to hit home runs, I try to get just solid base hits,” Goad said. “It’s just nice when those solid base hits go over the fence.”
The fourth inning started with a Hayes single and a pair of walks by Herron and Hooper. Ortiz doubled home Herron and Hayes with a rope to left-centerfield to make it 14-5 after four innings.
Waxahachie needed just one run in the fifth to kick in that mercy rule and Pannill took care of business as she drew a lead off walk then three wild pitches allowed her to motor around the bases and slide in safe to home to finish the game.
Now the team can look ahead to an interesting spring break week with Lancaster and Mansfield Legacy on the schedule.
Lancaster is winless and the Lady Indians (18-4, 2-1 in 15-4A) will visit the Lady Tigers at 2 p.m. Monday. Since it’s spring break, the teams can play whenever they want, thus the afternoon Monday game.
Waxahachie, who dropped to No. 12 in the state poll, will then host No. 11 Legacy (3-0 in district play) at 7 p.m. Wednesday to end the week for both teams.
JV beats Summit, Red Oak
Just like their varsity peers, the Waxahachie JV softball team got district wins against Red Oak and Mansfield Summit.
The team got its first win 7-4 at Red Oak. Courtney Gonzales led the way with six strike outs on the mound.
Hailey Shugart had a pair of hits and Abbey Evans and Abi Rogers helped the squad by driving in runs.
The team then followed that up with a 15-3 win against Summit.
Gonzales got the win again and Shugart had two more hits. Evans and Ashley Temple also drove in runs with hits.