By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - Harker Heights' Lady Knights went 33 games between district wins, snapping their streak two weeks ago.
They only needed five more games before picking up another.
The Lady Knights jumped out early on host Copperas Cove, only to watch their lead disappear before scoring twice in the eighth inning to win 6-4 Friday night.
The victory gives Heights (5-23) its first season with multiple district wins since 2007. The Lady Knights went just 2-10 in District 13-5A that year, but 1-11 in 2008 and 0-14 last year. They lost their first eight 12-5A games this year before the 7-1 win over Ellison on April 7.
"It's great," said Ashlyn Osborne, who went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs from her leadoff spot. "Getting the first one was pretty awesome, but this one really felt good, coming out and doing it again."
Cove finishes 16-16 overall and 5-9 in district (fifth place). The Lady Dawgs played the final four innings without seniors Shabanese Brown, Savannah Seybold and Paige Thornhill. The trio left after the fourth inning to attend the national DECA competition this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.
In addition to bringing players in and moving starters to different positions, Cove head coach Jim Lowery also made a pitcher change with Ashley Hartwell coming in for Katelynn Stephens in the fourth inning.
"You have to give Harker Heights a lot of credit," Lowery said. "You play with who you got and she played with who she had and her's were a little better than our's today."
Down 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Osborne kept Heights' hopes alive, hitting the second pitch she saw over the left-field wall. The home run - the Lady Knights' second of the day - tied the game.
"The pitch was really high," she said. "And I just kind of threw my hands at it. It was a great feeling."
Cove then left Kaela Cantrell stranded at second base in the bottom half of the inning. Cantrell singled with one and moved to second on a Katie Parris sacrifice. Heights' Christina Hagey, who relieved Osborne in the sixth inning, struck out Maricella Chavez to get out of the jam and send it to extra innings.
In the eighth, Harley Fine drew a one-out walk and Vicki Frew put down a bunt single that moved Fine all the way to third base. Frew then took second with no throw before a fielder's choice scored Fine. Osborne followed with a single to score Frew.
"It was nerve-wracking," Heights head coach Jamie Stephens said. "But we've had confidence in these kids all year long. It's like we've told them, 'You can play with anybody on any given day.' They proved that tonight."
Heights took the early lead, getting a run-scoring single from Osborne in the second inning and a Hagey solo home run in the third.
Veronica Espinosa, who singled after the homer, reached second base on a fielder's choice and third on a wild pitch. Cove catcher Savannah Seybold threw down to third, but overthrew the base, allowing Espinosa to come across and put Heights up 3-0.
The Lady Dawgs slowly chipped away, getting runs in both the fourth and fifth innings off singles from Chavez and Justine Hartwell. They took the lead in the sixth inning. Ashley Hartwell doubled home Chavez, who walked, and later scored on a wild pitch.