By Jason Chlapek
Killeen Daily Herald
Heidi Johnson wanted one more at-bat on Thursday. Having already hit a single, a double and a home run, the Shoemaker senior centerfielder needed only a triple to complete the cycle.
That fourth at-bat never came as Lady Grey Wolves' catcher Ashley Shannon hit a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Shoemaker softball team a 10-0 victory over Harker Heights at Shoemaker High School. Although there were no outs at the time of Shannon's two-run hit, the game was called courtesy of the 10-run rule.
"I definitely wanted to try and hit a triple, but as long as we win, I'm fine with that," Johnson said after going 3-for-3 with five RBIs.
Shoemaker (12-8, 2-1 in District 12-5A) scored its 10 runs on 10 hits, seven walks and a pair of errors. The Lady Grey Wolves were just as dominating on defense as Heights (3-9, 0-3 in 12-5A) could only place two runners on base throughout the contest.
"We weren't very disciplined at the plate," said Heights coach Jaime Stephens. "(Shoemaker pitcher Sami Berg) kept throwing the rise ball and we kept swinging at it. We have to be more disciplined at the plate."
Berg, who committed to Mary Hardin-Baylor, allowed just one hit and struck out eight batters.
"We're more concerned about getting wins than we are no-hitters," said Shoemaker coach and Sami's father, Kelly Berg. "This is the second game in a row where we hit the ball well. We also were more aggressive on the bases and we took advantage of the opponent's mistakes."
Shoemaker scored three runs in each of the first two innings to seize a 6-0 lead that would not be threatened. In the first, Johnson laced a two-run double to provide the Lady Grey Wolves with their first two runs of the contest, and scored on an error on the ensuing at-bat to give her team a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
After Heights starting pitcher Sloan Fine recorded the first two outs of the second, the bats came to life for Shoemaker as the Lady Grey Wolves hit five consecutive singles, including a two-run single by Shannon and an RBI single by Johnson to increase the lead to 6-0. Fine moved to third base in favor of Christina Hagey after the second inning.
After a scoreless third, Hagey seemed to be in her groove after forcing Berg to hit into a fielder's choice for the first out of the inning. But with Berg's courtesy runner, Megan Harris, on base, Johnson connected with a Hagey delivery and drove it over the left-center field wall to increase the Shoemaker lead to 8-0.
"That was the same spot where I hit a home run last year," Johnson said.
"Heidi has seen the ball well and has connected on her pitches lately," Kelly Berg added. "This is a testament to the hard work and effort that the girls have put forth this season."
The Lady Grey Wolves put the game away in the fifth as Stacie Young drew a leadoff walk and Katie Quinn singled to make way for Shannon's game-clinching single. Shannon went 2-for-3 with a walk, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Heights had an opportunity to score in the second as Veronica Espinosa reached base on an error to lead off the inning before moving to second on a Hagey sacrifice and going to third on an error. But on the play where she took third, Espinosa was waved home before Davis made a throw to Shannon for the tag at the plate to keep the shutout alive.
Ashlynn Osborne was the Lady Knights' other base runner as she hit a bloop single to lead off the fourth.
Both Heights and Shoemaker take the field today as the Lady Knights host Belton at 2 p.m. and the Lady Grey Wolves visit Ellison at 7.