BONHAM — Anna’s Lady Coyotes fought hard against co-first-place Bonham on April 18, but were eventually worn down, 5-0, in the regular-season finale for both teams. Anna’s spirited squad trailed the Lady Warriors, 1-0, into the bottom of the fourth inning before Bonham’s hit parade started taking its toll. Lady Warrior batters pounded out two home runs, two doubles and triple this night in support of pitcher MacKenzie Downs, who scattered four hits and struck out nine in a complete-game performance.


Though certainly disappointed to be 0-10 in district play, Anna head coach Lindsey Lacy saw some positives in her team’s final outing of 2017.


“Defensively, we played great,” she said. “We had a couple of mishaps, but that’s the game. Bonham is a really, really good team, so give them all the credit. But I thought we hung in there. We did a good job. We left a lot of people on base tonight. It just goes back to all the things we’ve been working on all season. The good thing is we showed some heart, we showed some fight. So I hope that gives them some promise for next year.”


The Lady Warriors’ win, combined with Aubrey’s victory over Celina, dealt District 11-4A a three-way logjam for first place. Melissa owns the district’s fourth playoff seed.


Pitcher Grace Price went the whole way for Anna, allowing nine hits with no walks and striking out two. Collecting hits for the Lady Coyotes were Hannah Howell, Fekyra Wells, Shataelyn King and Hailee Anderson.


Bonham put one run across in the first inning and that was it until the fourth, as Price cruised through the second and third innings facing just seven batters. In the Lady Warriors’ fourth, Katie Jones opened with a triple to center field then scored on a sacrifice fly to right. Two batters later, with two outs, Raegan Shackleford stepped in and sent a first-pitch solo shot over the center-field fence and Bonham led, 3-0. After an error and a single, Shelby Jones’s double to left brought home a fourth run. Kelsey Odom’s solo homer in the sixth closed out the scoring.


Howell said that, mostly, she’ll remember her teammates from these last few weeks.


“It was a rough season and I think maybe at the beginning we were kind of ‘new people,’” Howell said. “But throughout the season we just became more of a family. … Hopefully, we can come back next year and all mesh together and come out and be a better team altogether.”


Anna senior Hailee Anderson said the team indeed stayed together through it all.


“There’s been a lot happening this season, on and off the field, so you’ve just got to look past that. And I think we did. We came together every day as family. Even though we had struggles with each other we always kept each other up.”


She said she felt like the Lady Coyotes were fired up to give Bonham a battle this night.


“I gave everything I had and I know my teammates did also.”


Lacy said she appreciated her team’s effort and poise throughout this tough campaign.


“Every day they come out and they work hard,” she said. “This team has gone through a lot of things they probably shouldn’t have had to go through — just with the outside world, everything else going on. This is their place they get to come and be together and forget about everything else.” She added, “And we always pride ourselves on doing the right thing. … We’re showing sportsmanship, we’re staying positive. I told them, ‘I don’t want to be that team that’s remembered for throwing our helmets around because we got upset.’ And we never did that. I’m very proud of them for that.”


“We had a lot of young talent,” Lacy said in recalling the season as a whole. “I was starting four, sometimes five freshmen, and a couple of sophomores. We had two great seniors but I’m really looking forward to next year and bringing in some more young talent. Hopefully, things start going our way. … Really, I was prepared for us to go either way (this season). Right now, we have a three-way tie for first place in our district. That just goes to show you that anybody can win it. It’s tough knowing that we didn’t get a win, but there’s a lot of things to grow on.”