WACO — Tamera Johnson refuses to give into emotion.
With the program flirting with its first playoff appearance in recent history, excitement is building within Shoemaker’s program.
The Lady Grey Wolves shortstop prefers playing it cool, though.
“Our confidence is high,” Johnson said, “and we’re happy, but we’re just going to carry it on. We’re not going let anything change what we’ve been doing.
“We’re going to keep playing the same way, stay level and keep coming out practicing and playing harder and make sure we get a spot in the playoffs.”
Shoemaker took another step toward its goal Monday, defeating Waco 6-2 at Waco ISD Sports Complex to increase their cushion to two games over fifth-place Copperas Cove and Harker Heights with three games remaining in the regular season.
While it is an unfamiliar position, Lady Grey Wolves head coach Steve Mattox believes his team is approaching the situation properly.
“You’ve got to stay relaxed and enjoy the game,” he said. “If we just do our job and stay relaxed, then good things are going to happen.
“I’m confident that will happen, because we’ve been playing relaxed all season.”
After a pair of scoreless innings, Shoemaker (11-10, 8-5 District 12-6A) found its offensive rhythm, producing four runs on six hits in the top of the third inning.
Madalyne Martinez began the outburst with a two-run double, before teammate Madelyn Morua followed with an RBI single in the next at bat. Moments later, left fielder Lynda Nena connected on a single, scoring Morua.
Then, in the following inning, Johnson sent a pitch over the left-field wall for a solo home run en route to going 4 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs in the contest.
“I’ve been in a slump,” she said, “but I had my teammates encouraging me.
“Tonight, everything went out the window, and I produced for my team.”
In the fifth inning, the Lady Grey Wolves’ pushed their lead to 6-0 as Nena scored on Johnson’s single, before Waco (4-9) posted a two-run sixth inning.
But the Lady Lions would not get any closer.
Along with Johnson, Kasia Nelson (3 for 4), Alianis Corujo (2 for 4) and Nena (2 for 4, RBI) each delivered multiple-hit outings for Shoemaker as the Lady Grey Wolves finished with 14 hits.
Defensively, Martinez finished with 11 strikeouts to earn the pitching victory.
Now, Shoemaker will look to maintain the momentum through its final three games, beginning with Friday’s road game at Waco Midway.
“In practice,” Johnson said, “we have to keep working to come out on top. We have to come out strong and put runs on the board every inning.
“Even if we lose, we want to make sure other teams know we are coming to fight.”
MONDAY'S 12-6A SOFTBALL
- Belton at Killeen, ppd.
- Harker Heights at Waco Midway, ppd.
- Shoemaker 6, Waco 2
- Temple at Ellison, ppd.