For playoff-bound Shoemaker, the season finale at home was a lesson well learned.
There wasn’t anything on the line for Harker Heights, but the Lady Knights rallied in the seventh inning to take a 3-1 win over the Lady Grey Wolves.
“It’s always good to get the last win,” said Heights head coach Sarah Cruddas. “Coming into this game is a difficult task knowing there’s not another game afterwards, but these girls are a very special group of girls.
“They are an ‘as one’ team — win it all together, lose it all together, we do it all together.”
In the top of the seventh in a 1-1 tie, the Lady Knights loaded the bases with two outs and senior catcher Haley Brown at the plate.
Shoemaker starting pitcher Madalyne Martinez went to a full count before walking Brown, and the go-ahead run, to give the Lady Knights a 2-1 lead.
Heights added another run on the next pitch as every runner advanced on a passed ball.
“This was not indicative of the way we’ve been playing ball all year,” said Shoemaker head coach Steve Mattox. “Tonight just seemed like we were off, way off.”
The Lady Knights jumped ahead early as Martinez walked Divinity Merrick at the start of the second inning.
The Heights center fielder then stole second as shortstop Melissa Stillwell was at-bat.
Stillwell tapped a sacrifice bunt toward third to bring home Merrick and Heights led 1-0.
The spark lit for Shoemaker in the bottom of the fifth as catcher Alyssa Pena floated the ball into shallow left field to get on base.
Lady Wolves’ senior center fielder Deborah Hamilton followed suit, sending the ball into the gap in right field to get on base.
With runners on the corners, senior shortstop Tamera Johnson doubled into left field to drive in a run. Hamilton also tried to score but was tagged out at the plate by Brown.
Hamilton tripled in the bottom of the seventh inning, but that was as close as Shoemaker would get to scoring again.
Harker Heights ends the season 7-9 in 12-6A. Pitcher Evan Fuller threw a complete game and recorded four strikeouts while allowing three hits and a walk.
“Taking a win at somebody else’s home always feels good,” Cruddas said.
Martinez was 1 for 3, threw a complete game and recorded 15 strikeouts. She allowed one hit and walked six.
The Lady Grey Wolves end the regular season 9-7 in 12-6A and will face District 11-6A champ Rockwall in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
“We talked about it in the circle,” Mattox said. “Focus on the positive, work on your weaknesses, and I think that’s what we left off with — focus on what you do well and let’s continue to do what we do well.
“You’re going to have nights like this, but you have to move on.”