LIBERTY HILL The Lampasas Lady Badgers picked themselves up out of the dirt only to get punched in the gut.
But by whom is what they were left asking themselves after their 11-3 loss to Liberty Hill on Tuesday in a game that decided the District 25-3A champion.
After tripping over their own errors and being held down by Liberty Hill ace Kourtney Bevers, the Lady Badgers began to rally from an eight-run deficit with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, but fumbled away the momentum. Lampasas committed three of their nine errors in the Lady Panthers' two-run fifth inning and never recovered.
"It just knocked us back in the gut," Lampasas coach Rusty Erwin said. "If that doesn't happen, we come back in, we've got the top of our lineup up; we've got a chance. But, when they scored those two, that was the nail in the coffin."
Despite trailing 8-0, Kelsi Gilseth led off Lampasas' fifth inning with a solo home run over the left-field fence. It was the Lady Badgers' second hit off Bevers, who'd retired 10 straight before that.
"The last time we played Liberty Hill, I went 0-for-4 against that pitcher and I struck out my first at-bat (Tuesday)," Gilseth said. "I just figured I'd leave everything out on the field and just go for it. My coach actually gave me a take sign on that pitch, but I went ahead and swung anyway. I was happy that I swung."
With two outs Tealey Farquhar hit the first of three straight singles by Lampasas.
Alex Caruthers moved to third on Farquhar's single and then scored as Farquhar tried to steal second on the throw in from right field. After getting advanced to third on Kady Crow's single, Farquhar scored on the throw in from Hadley Brown's single.
"Momentum is a huge thing in softball because when we were at Lampasas, they were ahead and we were down and we had that one big inning," said Liberty Hill coach Charice Hankins of the eight runs the Lady Panthers scored in the sixth inning of their 9-6 win over Lampasas earlier this season. "The momentum changes so quickly so when we were up eight and they scored three it was 8-3, I told them, we've got to score, we've got to get those back."
Lorrie Potts led off the Lady Panthers' (20-7, 8-1 25-3A) fifth inning by drawing a five-pitch walk and scored on a two-error fielder's choice by Presley Walker in the next at-bat. Walker scored on a sacrifice fly by Paige Lafferty, stretching the Lady Panthers' lead to 10-3. Bevers added a lead-off, solo home run in the sixth.
Liberty Hill took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and led 3-0 before Lampasas (21-8, 7-2) committed three errors in the Lady Panthers' five-run fourth inning.
"You just can't win games if you make nine errors, I don't care who you are," Erwin said. "From the first pitch, we weren't ready. They out-hit us and out-pitched us. You get beat when that happens."