TEMPLE — Temple didn’t do anything through three innings against Shoemaker’s hard-throwing right-hander Madelyn Martinez — five strikeouts, three pop outs to the catcher and a fly out to shortstop worth of nothing.
Then Jaylin Kindles stepped into the batter’s box in the fourth inning and bunted for a single to give the Tem-Cats their first base runner of Tuesday night’s District 12-6A tilt.
“I think it really got us all up and hyped, like, we were ready to go,” Temple third baseman Bryanna Salas said of Kindles’ bunt.
Kindles was on the go once she reached, stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch before scoring when Salas drilled an RBI triple off the right-field fence for a lead Temple didn’t relinquish in an eventual 4-1 victory over the Lady Grey Wolves at Tem-Cat Field.
“We had our game plan coming in and we weren’t finding as much success as we were hoping, so the girls got into another game plan,” Temple coach Jessica Harborth said. “We told them to not be shocked that if they played them deep, we were going to lay down a bunt, get base runners on and let the rest take care of itself.”
Another run in the fourth, two important insurance runs in the sixth and Hayli Hesse’s 1-2-3 seventh inning in the circle to close out her complete game ensured a third straight win for third-place Temple (15-9, 7-3), which avenged a 4-3 loss Feb. 20 to the Lady Grey Wolves (5-4 district) that culminated with Martinez’s walk-off home run.
“We were definitely seeking revenge because of the way we lost the game,” said Hesse, who allowed five hits and struck out four. “It was definitely a hard fight last time, so we came out here wanting to get back what was ours.”
Martinez certainly made Temple work to even the season series. She struck out at least two in five of six innings and finished with 12. She also popped a solo home run in the sixth that sliced the Tem-Cats’ lead to 2-1.
Temple, though, padded its advantage in its half of the sixth through Makenna Holland’s two-run single that plated Alena Salazar and Salas. Holland also drove in Temple’s second run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly.
“They hit the ball when they needed to hit the ball to advance runners, and we didn’t,” said Shoemaker coach Steve Mattox, whose squad left four runners on base through the first three innings and also hit into two double plays. “That was the difference.”
TUESDAY'S 12-6A SCORES
- Belton 16, Harker Heights 2, 5 innings
- Copperas Cove 26, Killeen 16
- Temple 4, Shoemaker 1
- Waco Midway 15, Ellison 1, 5 innings
Waco Midway (9-1)
Copperas Cove (5-5)
Harker Heights (4-6)