By James Harper
The Cove Herald
Hitting for the cycle is one of the rarest feats in all of sports. A triple play is even more unusual.
Having both occur in the same game is almost unheard of. Almost.
The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs were on the wrong end of both Monday afternoon when District 12-5A leading A&M Consolidated got a cycle from junior leadoff hitter Taylor Oberg and then snuffed out a sixth-inning rally with a triple play for an 8-6 win.
"We had plenty of opportunities but we left 10 runners on base," Lady Bulldawgs coach Jim Lowery said. "I'm glad to see us get runners on, now we have to get them in."
With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the sixth, after Minzi Courtney, Elliana Doubleday and Carlee Duran drew consecutive walks to open the frame, the Lady Dawgs' appeared on the verge of a breakthrough inning despite trailing 8-5.
Ashley Hartwell followed with a sacrifice fly to score Courtney, but instead of Doubleday and Duran both advancing to second and third on the throw in, the Cove runners hesitated too long tagging up and were thrown out at third and first, respectively, for the inning-ending triple play.
Not helping matters was the cycle from Oberg, who finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored on the afternoon.
Cove came out firing in the bottom half of the first inning, as Irene Espinoza (3-for-4, three RBIs, two runs) strode to the plate and hit a pitch over the fence for a two-run home run after Duran got on with a leadoff walk.
The Lady Dawgs' (13-6, 1-2 12-5A) lead wouldn't last long, though, thanks to Oberg.
The Lady Tigers (4-15, 3-0) scored three runs in the second inning on a two-out, three-run homer from Oberg before Cove senior pitcher Kate Stephens fanned Kayla Bowman to end the threat.
As was the case the whole night, the Lady Dawgs fought back in the third when a leadoff double by Hartwell turned into a run on a Espinoza single, knotting the score 3-3. Espinoza quickly stole second and scored on a fielder's choice from Brianna Sinclair to retake the lead, 4-3.
But the fourth inning is where it fell apart for the Lady Dawgs.
After getting two quick outs on three pitches, Consolidated's Kasey Bangs drew a walk and was immediately knocked in courtesy of an RBI triple to right-center by Oberg to tie the game at 4-4. But Stephens couldn't get that last out, as the Lady Tigers tallied three more runs before Duran replaced Stephens on the mound and got out of the inning trailing 7-4.
Bryan 16, Copperas Cove 4 - Twice the Lady Bulldawgs were a catch away from getting out the inning.
But a pair of two-out dropped fly balls led to seven combined runs between the fifth and sixth innings as the visiting Lady Vikings salvaged a District 12-5A road split in a doubleheader Monday evening.
The Lady Dawgs actually led 4-3 after a four-run third when Rachel Joust scored two on an RBI double.
Temple 5, Cove 1 - Sarah Truelove and Taylor Valentin both hit home runs as the Tem-Cats defeated the Lady Bulldawgs to lead off a district doubleheader.
Carlee Duran and Ashley Hartwell both doubled in the sixth inning to plate Copperas Cove's only run.