HARKER HEIGHTS — Harker Heights righty Sierra Warren couldn’t help but feel the frustration during her second at-bat of the game.
She swung at a pitch from Shoemaker starter Heather Casiano and hit it to the opposite field, but just a few feet foul.
“I was kind of mad,” Warren said. “A foul ball is nothing, it just gives me new life to go and do better than that. I went back up and did what I know how to do.”
Warren promptly smacked a single to center and a runner came around and scored.
Warren was clutch in the circle, too. The Lady Knights ace struck out 11 Lady Grey Wolves in an 11-1 win on Tuesday that ended after six innings.
The win improved the Lady Knights to 5-6 in District 8-5A play while the Lady Grey Wolves fell to 1-10 in district action. The Lady Knights are in a fight for one of the district’s final playoff spots.
“She started out rolling and we went through a little spot,” Heights head coach Jaime Stephens said of Warren. “She just has to keep the mindset that whatever happens on defense, she can’t let that affect here. She has to be able to bring her ‘A’ game.”
Warren allowed just one earned run on two hits.
Shoemaker shortstop Laryn Brinkman and second baseman Celina Clark, the No. 2 and 3 hitters in the lineup, managed to get the only hits off Warren.
Brinkman led off the top of the fourth with a bloop single that dropped just inside the right field line and Clark followed with a single to left that scored Brinkman.
That hit cut Heights’ lead to 6-1, but Shoemaker couldn’t manage to get any closer.
“Timing of the hits, that’s all we needed,” Brinkman said. “We needed contact after contact. We have to do it as a team.”
Warren was able to pitch herself out of a jam in the inning by getting a flyout in the top of the third that left two Shoemaker runners in scoring position.
The Lady Grey Wolves also had things going in the top of the sixth when Brinkman reached on an outfield error and Estefania Rosario walked. But Warren struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
“I think it was more of hitting my spots when I’m pitching,” Warren said. “I know that if I put it in at a place it doesn’t need to be, they’re going to hit it and they’re going to score. But if I just give it at their knees, where it belongs, and they just get a little grounder, then I know my defense is behind me to get them out.”
Lady Knights leadoff hitter Karla Cosme got things going for Heights with an infield single that scored a run to make it 1-0 Heights and right fielder Ashley Flores followed with an infield RBI single that doubled the lead.
The Lady Knights distanced themselves by putting up four runs on two hits and taking advantage of two Lady Grey Wolves errors in the bottom of the third. Aiyanna Jones had two RBIs.
“We focus on having mental toughness and that’s what you have to have to get through those type of situations,” Shoemaker head coach Alisha Hobson said.
Designated player Julia Sholes led the Lady Knights, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single.
The Lady Knights came into the bottom of the sixth with a 9-1 lead. The game ended when Gillian Pons scored on an infield error and Destiny Perry came home on a wild pitch.
The win gives Heights a season sweep of Shoemaker. The Lady Knights beat the Lady Grey Wolves 15-4 on March 10.