TEMPLE — The only suspense was whether Temple pitcher Lexi Smith could complete her third perfect game of the season.
“I don’t think about it,” said Smith, the Tem-Cats’ ace junior right-hander. “I just buckle down. If they walk, they walk.”
None of them walked, hit or reached on an error and the Tem-Cats cruised to a 14-0 victory over Ellison in five innings.
Smith struck out 10 of the 15 batters she faced and fired 58 pitches.
The Tem-Cats (18-12, 8-3 8-5A) remained in third place, three games behind Waco Midway and one behind Belton, plus two clear of fourth-place Copperas Cove. Ellison is 5-21, 3-8. The Tem-Cats cranked out 16 hits and kept their groove going after last Friday’s 3-0 victory at Belton.
“The pressure’s off and we did a good job at pitch selection,” Temple coach Julie Goodman said. “We did a good job of not going after bad pitches. We’re working on a lot of little things.”
Temple put three runs in the first inning. Andelyn Irons, Abigael O’Brien and Taylor Ward all had run-scoring singles in the frame to get the early advantage.
They put it away by sending 15 batters to the plate in the second and getting 10 more runs home to go up 13-0.
CJ Anderson, Kaegan Jimenez and Samantha Pajestka all had two hits in the same frame. Anderson, Pajestka, Smith and Taylor Valentin all contributed doubles during the Tem-Cats’ batting turnstile.
Anderson stroked a two-run double that landed flush on the left-field line.
“I was just more relaxed at the plate and a more relaxed attitude,” said Anderson, the senior second baseman who hit in the No. 9 spot. “I wasn’t thinking about other things. We’re having more fun, but trying to stay intense.”
O’Brien, a senior right fielder, went 2 for 2 with two RBIs.
“I’m just seeing the ball a lot better at the plate,” she said. “We’re working on a lot of things in practice and trying to make it happen.”
Temple added one more run in the fourth when Irons singled home Smith. Smith struck out the side in the fifth. Kennedy Connell and Bree Sanchez both pushed Smith to a full count and she fanned Ashlie Scagliusi to end the game.