After three straight wins to open district play, Melissa fell to Aubrey’s Lady Chaparrals, 5-1, on March 24, on the road. With the win, Aubrey (3-1) pulled into a tie for first place in District 11-4A with the Lady Cardinals and Celina’s Lady Bobcats.
Sophomore Alexis Pevehouse pitched the entire game for Melissa, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out five. Laney Roos posted the complete-game win for the Lady Chaps, permitting five hits and three walks, with five “Ks.” Roos and Madelyn Boyer led Aubrey at the plate with two hits each. Pevehouse also collected three singles in four at-bats, tops for Melissa, as sophomores Kylee Brakebill and Audrey Solomon added a single each. Solomon’s fifth-inning hit to right scored the Lady Cards’ lone run.
Tied at 1-1 in the fifth inning, Aubrey pulled away with a three-run burst that was helped along by two Melissa errors.
Lady Cards romp past Bonham
MELISSA — With another victory in hand on March 21, Melissa head coach Eric Rodgers heard a request to bust a dance move after the Lady Cardinals had concluded their post-game meeting in left field. He obliged, to the loud approval of his charges.
“Apparently, that’s the ‘Whip and Nae Nae,’” Rodgers said. “After we beat Anna they made me ‘Dab.’ Coach (Claude Webb) came out and asked me if I was going to dance again, and you know what? I don’t care. I’ll do whatever they want. I’ll stand on my head.”
Nothing that extreme was required this night, as Melissa “run-ruled” Bonham’s Lady Warriors, 11-1, in five innings for their third straight district win against no losses. Bonham, ranked seventh in the state two weeks ago, now sits at 0-3 in district play.
“They were tops in district last year, and most of us coaches put them up there as the team to beat,” Rodgers said. “They lost a few but they still have a lot of pieces. … I think we (last) beat them my first year here, which was five years ago. And it was a surprise then. They’ve had a real nice run — and they’re not done yet. They’re going to bounce back.”
The Lady Cards put on a home-run derby of sorts this night, with Alexis Pevehouse, Audrey Solomon and freshman Savannah Rodriguez each jacking one from the friendly confines of Melissa’s Skyler Field. For the freshman Rodriguez, it was her first career dinger.
“It felt amazing,” she said of sending a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence, just inside the foul pole. “I just knew it was a line drive. I didn’t know it was going out.”
Her solo blast put the Lady Cards up, 6-0, in the third inning.
Pevehouse went all five innings on the mound for Melissa, allowing three hits and no walks and striking out one.
“I think confidence is a big key,” she said. “If you don’t have confidence … I don’t think all that energy and everything is there for you to back up your team when they really need you.”
She also had a team-high three hits in four at-bats, with two doubles in addition to her home run. Rodriguez was next with two hits in three plate appearances. Kylee Brakebill and freshman Maggie Rodgers each added a hit apiece, with Brakebill’s going for a double.
Bonham pitcher MacKenzie Downs also went the distance, giving up eight hits and striking out five with three walks. Not helping her case, the Lady Warriors committed six errors.
Leading, 10-1, in the fifth, with nobody on and two out, it didn’t much look like Melissa would get that run needed to invoke the run rule. Then No. 9 hitter Rodgers slapped her single, which allowed another shot from the Lady Cards’ top-of-the-order hitters — and Pevehouse delivered with a double to left. After one pitch to the next batter, Brakebill, Downs tried to pick-off Pevehouse at second and the ball skipped into center field, allowing the game-ender by Rodgers from third.
The Lady Cards had opened up a 4-0 lead in the second inning, with Rodriguez’s single to center getting things started. Sophomore Macy Stewart followed with a bunt, reaching first on an error. Downs then got one out on a pop-up to the pitcher and struck out a batter before facing Pevehouse, who promptly slapped a 3-run shot over the fence.
Solomon’s homer led off the third before Rodriguez, with two outs, belted hers. In the fourth, the Lady Cards again worked with two outs as Brakebill doubled to left, followed by a walk from Solomon. Cascading errors then swept up Bonham as fly balls by senior Becca Pittman and sophomore Anna Fortenberry were mishandled, scoring two. A throwing error to second and a short stop miscue on a Rodriguez grounder pushed Melissa’s advantage to 10-1 — harkening the run-rule specter.
“Every one of these wins feels great, because we just keep extending ourselves more and more, above people,” Rodgers said. “You come out here, you expect to win, you hope to win — but you don’t look for a run-rule. You don’t ever look for those.”