By Kevin Posival
The Cove Herald
KILLEEN - Shoemaker committed eight errors, walked seven batters and left 10 batters stranded but rallied from a 7-4 deficit to beat Copperas Cove, 12-10, for their first district win since 2009.
"They got up on us 7-4 and we could've laid down, but we didn't and, you know, we've got some fight in us," Culp said.
Shoemaker (6-15, 1-5 12-5A) scored five runs in the fifth inning on a passed ball, two RBI walks and a two-run single by Tyler Hammett and plated three more runs in the sixth after the Bulldawgs tied the game at 9.
"We had a lot (of opportunities), scored a lot early and they came back, scored a lot and won the game," Copperas Cove coach C.J. Wilk said.
Last year, the two teams met under the same circumstances - though the cold temperatures and blistery wind were new this year - with both looking for a first District 12-5A win. Cove jumped out to a 9-0 lead and held on for a 9-2 win and this meeting looked like it would follow the same line.
After Shoemaker took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, Copperas Cove (6-14, 0-6) tied the game on an unearned run by Matt Christiansen in the top of the second. The Bulldawgs then tacked on three more in the third after getting their first three batters of the inning on base after three consecutive walks by Shoemaker starter A.J. Gongora.
Israel Riley scored on a sacrifice by Christianson, Tyler Overocker scored on a passed ball and Warren Neely's RBI single plated Chris Burroughs to give Cove a 5-2 lead.
Shoemaker added a couple of RBI walks in the bottom of the inning, but Burroughs stretched the Dawgs' lead back to three win a two-run sacrifice in the fourth.
"This weather was the perfect predictor for this game," Culp said. "It was tough. ... The game's got to be played and it was. Somebody had to get a win, (we were) both trying to find one and we got one."
Tito Montes and Roberto Ramos opened the Grey Wolves' sixth inning with back-to-back singles and Matt Reed followed with an RBI double. Ramos scored on a passed ball and Reed scored on an error that put Shoemaker up 12-9.
Ty Johnson hit a one-out solo home run for Cove in the top of the seventh, but after Riley reached on an error, Hammett, pitching in relief, struck out Overocker and got Burroughs to ground out to the short stop for the final out.
The Bulldawgs committed four errors and walked 14 batters, including six in the fifth inning.
A&M Consolidated 15, Copperas Cove 2, 5 inn. (last Friday) - At College Station, Ty Johnson hit a solo home run and Austin Greene tripled as the visiting Bulldawgs struggled on the mound and remained winless in District 12-5A.
Softball beats Heights, falls to Belton
Copperas Cove 6, Harker Heights 3, 10 inn. - At Harker Heights, Destiny Henderson and Megan Martel both had run-scoring singles in the 10th inning, as Copperas Cove broke a tie and held on to win on the road.
Henderson singled home Kinzi Courtney and Justin Hartwell, and Martel scored Irene Espinoza. Cove (10-12, 2-5 12-5A) starter Katelynn Stephens struck out 11 in eight innings, with Ashley Hartwell pitching the final two.
Heights (7-16, 1-6) had a chance to win in the ninth, loading the bases with no outs, but couldn't push a run across. Ashlyn Osborne led the Lady Knights, going 3-for-5 and scoring twice.
Belton 13, Copperas Cove 0, 5 inn. (last Friday) - At Copperas Cove, the visiting Tigers scored eight runs in the first inning and hit four home runs to knock off the Lady Bulldawgs in a run-rule victory. Alyson Bishoff went 3-for-3 with two homers and three RBIs, while Ashley Bucher and Amber Peters each homered as well. Billi Farr drove in five runs, while Allison Boston struck out to pick up the win over Belton.