WACO — Donya Mooney knew it was just a matter of time.
The Mansfield Timberview softball coach was right.
After Copperas Cove played near flawless defense for four innings, No. 20 Mansfield Timberview exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and propel the Lady Wolves to a 9-2 victory in Game 2, sweeping the Class 5A bi-district playoff series.
“We always have the potential to put a lot of runs up at any given time,” Mooney said. “They finally started relaxing and putting up some runs. ... In softball, it is all about relaxation and getting the job done at the plate, and you can’t do that when you are tight. You can play intense, but you can’t play tense.”
Entering the inning, Timberview rounded second base only one time, but Ashley Timmons’ three-run home run to left field gave the Lady Wolves all the cushion they needed to secure the victory and simultaneously end Copperas Cove’s bounce-back season.
Following a four-year absence from the postseason, the Lady Bulldawgs (18-17) fought their way back into the playoffs and controlled the majority of both games against state-ranked Timberview before miscues cost them a pair of potential victories.
In the series opener, Cove committed three errors — all directly leading to runs — en route to a 5-4 loss. On Saturday, the Lady Dawgs limited their errors, but simply could not get the Lady Wolves off the bases late.
With one out in the fifth inning, two consecutive batters scored runs for the Lady Wolves before Timmons’ shot over the left-field fence gave Timberview a 6-1 advantage.
Cove responded in the top of the sixth inning as shortstop Irene Espinoza crossed home plate when Lady Wolves pitcher Mariah Denson walked Sydney Andrews with the bases loaded, making the score 6-2 before Timberview (23-4-1) turned a double play to avoid any further damage.
The Lady Wolves’ momentum carried into the sixth inning, where, after the first two batters went down in order, they recorded five consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles. Three of the runners rounded the bases, and Timberview held a 9-2 entering the seventh inning.
Once again, the Lady Bulldawgs loaded the bases, but none crossed home plate as Timberview used another double play to end the game.
Timberview advances to play the winner between Colleyville Heritage and No. 25 Flower Mound Marcus in the area round.
Copperas Cove left a dozen runners stranded in the loss, including nine during the final four innings. Led by Ashley Hartwell, who went 2 for 2 with a pair of singles, the Lady Bulldawgs finished with seven hits.
“Our defense is always solid, but we actually made a few errors this weekend that we haven’t seen in the past,” Mooney said. “These are still high school kids, and things are going to happen. It’s been a long weekend, and we are just ready to move on to the next round.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org