WAXAHACHIE — Waxahachie High School's varsity softball team claimed their first district victory in four games after beating Mansfield Lake Ridge High School 5-4 Friday night at Lady Indian Field.
The Lady Indians earned a win after gaining eight total hits. One of those hits — Chelsey Catlett's three-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning — may have the most important quick strike during the seven-inning matchup.
After scoring a single run in the second inning via Kaylie Burdine's sacrifice fly, Mansfield Lake Ridge roared back after Brittany Jackson doubled off Waxahachie ace Talia Salinas and drove in Kori Carr.
Salinas outdueled her on-field counterpart, allowing four runs on 11 hits and committing four errors with 124 pitches in seven innings of work on the Lady Indian mound. She struck out six batters and walked only two.
The impact of her Catlett's might have been minimized if not Kaily Gonzales' walk of Addy Redd and Sharrika Levingston's 2-1 base hit single that set up the rally two batters before she stepped to the plate.
Burdine (1-for-3), Catlett (1-for-3), Levingston (1-for-4), Redd (1-for-2), Ariana Robles (1-for-4), Caley Robles (1-for-2) and Kameron Ryer (2-for-2) provided the Lady Indians' half-dozen hits. Burdine (1) and Catlett (3) provided four of the five runs via RBI. Courtney Crownover led Waxahachie in walks with two.
Gonzales threw 93 pitches in six innings, striking out none, committing three errors and allowing five runs on six hits. Fifteen of the Lady Indians' 25 at-bats (60 percent) against her were quality appearances that came after Redd (3), Ryer (3) Ariana (2), Levingston (2), Crownover (2), Burdine and Caley forced multiple six-pitch at-bats.
They also added a sacrifice fly and a handful of base-on-balls.
Waxahachie's final run in the sixth — Redd's ground ball turned reached base via Lady Eagle error that scored Caley — proved to be the game-winner, though.
Emily Olguin's sacrifice drove in Jackson and a batter later, Kate Tovar's line-drive single past Caley scored Britt Rufus and an error put the tying run on third with the go-ahead at the plate. Salinas, though, saved her best for last.
She needed only four pitches to strike out Kyla Marzette and seal the upset, come-from-behind victory.
The (8-12-1, 2-4) Lady Indians entered the game in sixth place in District 10-5A and on the outside of the 5A playoff picture looking in. They were two games behind former fifth-place Mansfield Timberview High School and former fourth-place Mansfield Summit High School, the holder of the final playoff seed.
After the Lady Wolves' 6-5 victory against the Lady Jaguars, though, the teams are tied for fourth with respective 3-3 and 3-4 district records.
Waxahachie, which moved into fifth place with its victory, has a chance to further their playoff cause when they face Mansfield Summit at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lady Indian Field. A win would give them sole control of fifth place and a loss by Mansfield Timberview, scheduled to face Red Oak High School at noon, would tie them for fourth.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.