By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Sierra Warren kept her head and her composure.
Despite not giving up a single hit, the bases were loaded behind her.
“Sometimes, I get frustrated. If I do get frustrated, I’m just going to mess up even more, but it’s just a matter of getting yourself in that mindset,” Warren said. “I already had the bases loaded, I don’t need to get anybody else on.”
The Harker Heights pitcher struck out Ariadna Sonni in four pitches to get out of the fourth-inning jam and the Lady Knights offense took care of the rest, rolling Killeen 13-6 on Friday.
Warren pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit softball and the Lady Knights (7-16, 1-1 8-5A), who had one hit in their 14-0 loss to Belton on Tuesday, plated six runs on five hits and three errors in the sixth inning en route to their first District 8-5A win this season.
“‘Everybody’s going to make mistakes,’” Harker Heights coach Jaime Stephens told her team. “‘Find the holes, make them make mistakes.’ ... That’s the key, make contact. I want them hitting, making contact, it’s going to find a hole somehow, someway.”
Killeen (1-10, 0-2) staved off the run-rule loss with two two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and loaded the bases, again, in the seventh inning. This time, senior Olivia Lacewell didn’t let Warren out of the jam. The Prairie View A&M-signed pitcher sent Warren’s 1-0 pitch over the center field wall.
“I thought we took another step tonight, as a young team, being competitive, competing to get those runs in that last inning back,” Killeen coach Randy James said. “But, I told the ladies after the game, ‘We’ve got to get away from that one inning where we start throwing the ball around.’”
Regan McIlvenna was 4 for 5 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Warren gave up three hits and three earned runs in the win. She also struck out three and walked five.
Lacewell was 1 for 3 with four RBIs and struck out seven in the circle for Killeen. She gave up nine earned runs on 11 hits and walked three.
The Lady Knights took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after they loaded the bases on three consecutive errors by Killeen and Deanna Turck scored on a passed ball. Warren scored in the fourth inning on a ground-out by Ashley Olsen for a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.
After Warren and the Lady Knights got out of their jam, McIlvenna hit a run-scoring double that plated Brianna Smith and then scored on a third-base throwing error for a 4-0 lead in the fifth. Smith and McIlvenna both doubled and Gillian Pons and Courtney Luedecking each singled for the Lady Knights’ in their six-run sixth inning that gave them a 10-0 lead.
“Our pitcher let them get on, or we made mistakes, whatever it was, you’ve got to turn it around and make it a positive. The positive was we got out of the inning without (giving up) a run,” Stephens said.
“It’s always big when you don’t score in an inning. Always. But, when you’ve got bases loaded and you leave bases loaded, don’t get anything out of it, that’s a little bit more,” James said. “But, that didn’t cost us. We just didn’t do things in the first inning and the second inning. Third inning, when you’re not putting anything on the board early, you’re really fighting.”
Lacewell reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored on a passed ball. Amanda Daniels followed with a single, the Lady Roos’ first hit of the night, and scored on Miranda Corondo’s RBI double.
Karia Cosme and Smith both singled to open the seventh and scored on McIlvenna’s two-run double. McIlvenna scored on a passed ball to give the Lady Knights a 13-2 lead going into the final frame, where the Lady Roos loaded the bases on a hit, a fielder’s choice ball and an error before Lacewell stepped into the box with one out.