COPPERAS COVE — It was a hit so nice, Copperas Cove produced it twice.
After San Angelo Central chopped a four-run deficit in half, the Lady Bulldawgs were searching for offense, having failed to advance beyond first base in the previous two innings.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Copperas Cove rediscovered its rhythm.
The Lady Bulldawgs exploded for eight runs in the inning with junior Addie Cook’s three-RBI triple to left field triggering the outburst before teammate Jayda Carter repeated the feat six batters later, connecting on a triple to right field with the bases loaded for a walk-off victory.
Following the 13-3 run-rule win, Carter admitted the unique frenzy was especially meaningful.
“Addie’s my best friend,” the sophomore leftfielder said, “and right after that hit, she came up and hugged me, yelling, ‘Jayda, we just did the same thing!’
“I was screaming, ‘Yeah!,’ and it was a lot of fun.”
Copperas Cove committed a pair of errors in the top of the fifth inning, helping the Lady Cats score twice to pull within three runs, 5-3, threatening to build on the momentum of a 6-5 victory against Ellison in the District 8-6A opener.
But the comeback attempt ended there.
Lady Bulldawgs senior first baseman Riley Collier opened the bottom of the inning with a single before freshman Jackie Clay connected on a standup double two batters later. Then, third baseman Peyton Choate was walked, setting the stage for Cook’s base-clearing shot.
“The one I hit was on the outside,” Cook said, “and I hate outside pitches, so I was proud of myself for hitting it.
“I was really reaching for it, but once I hit it, I was just thinking, ‘Wow.’”
Cook and Madalyn Scribner each crossed home plate to inflate Copperas Cove’s cushion to 10-3 before Elana Montanez, Kristen
Wasiak and Collier recorded the final runs off Carter’s hit.
“I was feeling very confident at the plate,” said Carter, who was 2 of 4. “I’ve been working with the coaches, making sure my swing and stance are right, so I can get good contact.
“Before my final hit, I just shook off the nerves, and I went up to the plate and didn’t think about anything. ”
Copperas Cove delivered a similar offensive surge early in the contest.
After a scoreless first inning, Carter connected on a stand-up double to lead off the bottom of the second, scoring on Clay’s RBI single in the following at bat. Four of the next five Lady Bulldawgs batters scored, including pitcher Elana Montanez, who was 2 for 3 with a two-RBI double.
Additionally, the senior starter earned the victory on the mound, throwing six strikeouts.
Central (7-9- 1, 1-1) responded with a run as shortstop Marisa Cruz sent a pitch over the left-field wall in the third inning before the Lady Cats added two more unanswered runs to begin the fifth inning.
But thanks to batting around the order in two innings, including the deciding fifth, Copperas Cove (9-7- 1, 1-1) collected its first district victory after losing the opener to Midway.
“There are still things that we can learn on, grow from and improve on,” Lady Bulldawgs head coach Bryan Waller said. “Central is a very good team that is very well coached, they never gave up, and they got back in the game.
“I told the girls that they can either take the momentum back or it’s going to be a long game, and I was very proud of their effort at the end.”