WYLIE – For five innings, it looked like the Waxahachie Lady Indians were going to be completely overmatched in their playoff series against the Wylie Lady Pirates.
Waxahachie had just one hit, a bunt single, and trailed 4-0 with just six out left of life. But then the Lady Indian bats sprung to life to take a brief 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth.
The key word there was brief as the Lady Pirates tied the score in the bottom of the sixth and were able to walk-off with a 6-5 win on a confusing play on an infield pop up.
With the score notted at five heading to the home half of the final inning, Wylie got two singles and a walk to load the bases with just one out. The winning run now stood just 60 feet away.
The ensuing batter hit a pop up in the infield just behind second base. Three Lady Indians converged on the ball, but none of them caught it as it fell between them and the winning run raced home to get the Wylie victory.
The pop up should have been immediately ruled as an infield fly rule and the batter should have been immediately called out. But that call was not made, which only added to the confusion for the Lady Indians.
“They didn’t call jack,” Waxahachie coach Stephen Howell said of the final no call. “You’d think they would have.”
Sure the batter-runner should have been called out, but that wouldn’t have mattered. Had the ball been caught, the runners wouldn’t likely wouldn’t have advanced and the game would not have ended. If the runners tried to advance, since the ball was still in the infield, it would have been a short throw to get a double play and end the inning.
“We should have caught the ball period,” Howell said. “But we didn’t catch the ball period.”
But that game ended and forced the Lady Indians to come back home and win twice Saturday. You can see how the team fared by visiting www.waxahachietx.com or picking up Tuesday’s Waxahachie Daily Light.
“We’ve got our backs up against the wall,” Howell said. “But I feel good about it. We’re going to have to make it through the games with our pitching.”
Waxahachie started Miranda Herron on the mound, but Howell went to Jaymie Kendrick just six batters into the ball game when Wylie took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Lady Pirates doubled that lead with two runs in the third, but the game stood 4-0 until the sixth.
Waxahachie got two runners on in the first inning thanks to a walk and an error, but couldn’t score either of them. The team’s only hit for the first five innings came on a lead off bunt single by Haley Winningham in the third. She stole second, but couldn’t get further than that. She was the only Lady Indian to reach base in a 16-batter stretch. Waxahachie didn’t strike out once in the first five innings, just hit the ball hard into a lot of outs.
The Lady Indians finally got rolling in the sixth when Herron led off with a smash off the Wylie third baseman’s glove. Ariel Ortiz plated the first Waxahachie run of the game with a double to right field to score Herron.
Marissa Hooper followed with a double off the leftfield wall, but it was almost caught and Ortiz had to hold up at third. She wasn’t there long as she scampered home on a passed ball. Hooper took third on the miscue and scored on a base hit to right by Cheyenne Fults. Suddenly it was a 4-3 game and the tying run was on base.
Kendrick followed with a single to get the go-ahead run on base. Two batters later, Ashley Graham tried to get the bunt down twice, but fouled both of them off. She then was able to get a shallow base hit to left to load the bases for Abbey Evans. She fouled off a couple pitches, but then was hit in the leg by a wild one, which allowed Fults to trot home as the tying run. Winningham got her second hit of the night to score Yasmine Hinojosa, who ran for Kendrick, the go-ahead run.
Waxahachie still had the bases loaded with just one out and the top of the order coming up, but a ground out and a pop out ended the threat with no more damage done.
If the Lady Indians (18-10) won twice Saturday, they will have to face No. 2 Hallsville (34-2) or Mansfield Legacy No. 12 (25-5) in the third round of the playoffs. Waxahachie lost to Legacy twice this year.