COPPERAS COVE — It was just a routine situation.
After having its game against Harker Heights halted in the second inning Friday due to inclement weather, Copperas Cove returned to the field Monday for the conclusion of the contest.
While the ordeal would be unusual to most, the Lady Bulldawgs are becoming accustomed to such adversity after experiencing the exact same scenario last week.
“They handled this same thing against Shoemaker with a weather delay,” Copperas Cove head coach Bryan Waller said, “and I think that made it easier for them to come back and do it again.
“They already had that under their belt.”
The Lady Bulldawgs’ comfort showed as they repeatedly responded to adversity, going back and
forth with the Lady Knights before emerging with a 15-14 victory.
The squads entered the day tied 4-4 before exchanging the lead multiple times as the teams combined to produce 24 hits during the final five innings of play.
Following the win, Copperas Cove centerfielder Kristen Wasiak admitted the Lady Bulldawgs are gaining poise through the repeated challenges.
“I feel like we are prepared for anything,” the junior said. “Even if we are down, we just have to fight harder.”
Harker Heights provided plenty of opportunities for the Lady Bulldawgs to display their growing resiliency.
Copperas Cove broke the 4-4 tie in the third inning as Jayda Carter sent a solo home run over the left-field wall, but the lead was quickly erased as Lindsey Ratcliffe’s two-RBI double highlighted a three-run, four-hit top of the fourth inning for the Lady Knights.
Thanks in part to third baseman Maria Hanna’s home run, the Lady Bulldawgs bounced back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times to claim an 8-7 advantage.
The cushion deflated in the following inning, however, as Lady Knights third baseman Ja’lynn Swiney connected for a grand slam, giving her team a three-run lead at 11-8.
“We got a little down after that home run,” Wasiak said, “but once we started hitting again, the momentum picked up, and we just took it from there.
“We rose to the occasion.”
Wasiak’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning tied the score 11-11, but Harker Heights would not go away, reclaiming the lead in the sixth inning on Valeria Cosme’s RBI that scored teammate Divinity Merrick.
But it would not last.
Copperas Cove scored four runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth inning, and it was just enough to capture the victory as the Lady Knights scored twice in the seventh inning before leaving three runners stranded to end the game.
The Lady Bulldawgs (7-5 8-6A) can clinch a playoff berth tonight with a win at Killeen or a loss by the Lady Knights (5-7) at home against Shoemaker.
For some, it might be a lot of pressure, but for Copperas Cove, it is just a routine situation.
“It’s truly been one game at a time for us for a while,” Waller said. “Now, we’ve got one more to go, and we’re going to go to Killeen and give it our best shot.
“If we play the way we are supposed to play, then I feel confident in our chances.”
8-6A SOFTBALL STANDINGS
x-Waco Midway 11-1
x-San Angelo Central 8-4
Copperas Cove 7-5
Harker Heights 5-7
x-clinched playoff spot