TEMPLE — Lexi Smith retired all 15 batters in a perfect performance and she was backed by 14 hits as Temple beat Harker Heights 14-0 in a five-inning game Tuesday night.
Smith struck out 11 of those 15 and took care of business in just 62 pitches.
“I’m just kind of relaxed now,” said Smith, who is 10-7 after pitching her third no-hitter and second perfect game of the year. “Walking people doesn’t help the momentum, so I didn’t do that. We’re starting to get our offense going again.”
It was the second straight 14-run output for the Tem-Cats, who beat Ellison 14-3 last Friday. Temple moved to 13-10 overall and 3-2 in district, while Heights dropped to 8-18, 2-3.
The game started 15 minutes early in order to beat the threat of storms, but that time was given back when the stadium lights went out in the top of the third inning and the Tem-Cats leading 6-0.
The Tem-Cats managed to stay loose while waiting on the power to come back with a rousing game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” around the pitching circle.
When the power returned, Smith made short work of Alexandra Roquez. Then the Tem-Cats went on an offensive tear in the bottom half of the frame. Temple sent 14 batters to the plate and cranked out eight hits to ring up eight runs.
“We’ve bounced back to the way we’ve been hitting,” said senior first baseman Andelyn Irons, who roped three straight doubles and drove in three runs. “We’ve got a lot of motivation to keep this momentum going.”
Sophomore Tori Porubsky got things going with the first of her two singles in the inning. Samantha Pajestka drove home Porubsky by slapping a double inside the third-base line. Pajestka scored from third on a wild pitch. Kimberlyn Longbotham snuck in a single before back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Taylor Valentin and Irons kept the roll going.
CJ Anderson and Kaegan Jimenez drew successive walks and Smith reached on an error before Porubsky’s second hit brought home Anderson. Taylor Ward and Pajestka followed with RBI singles before the Lady Knights got out of the inning down 14-0.
“We had solid hitting, our defense was there and Lexi had a perfect game,” Temple coach Julie Goodman said. “What more can you ask? We just have to keep our intensity level up.”
Temple picked up four runs in the first. Ward walked and then scored on an error. Longbotham drove in Pajestka with a single to center. Irons first double to deep center plated courtesy runner Abigael O’Brien and Valentin scored when Anderson reached on an error.
The Tem-Cats added two more in the second with back-to-back RBI doubles by Irons and Anderson.
Brianna Smith took the loss for Heights and was relieved in the third by Sierra Flores.
Temple hosts Copperas Cove on Friday.
“We were expecting to be the same as last season,” said Pajestka, the senior center fielder who went 3-for-3. “We want to have an even better season. In practice we are more serious and want to do what it takes to get there.”