By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
An RBI single Wednesday night turned into 32 runs scored and three wins in three days for the Copperas Cove softball team.
The Lady Dawgs' machine picked up a 14-3 win Friday night over Killeen with seven hits and Shabanese Brown's third home run in two days.
Brown, who hit the game-winning single in Cove's 3-2 win over Ellison on Wednesday, hit a three-run shot over the center field wall in a six-run third inning for the Lady Dawgs on Friday.
"I think that this last week has been very good for us," said Cove coach Jim Lowery. "We played three games in three days and have a nail-biter on Wednesday to where we had to rely on pitching and defense and then the last two days, just getting up and wearing it out.
"Now, we've got a couple days off and hope we can combine the two to where we play good defense and keep hitting against Belton (on Monday)."
Brown hit two home runs, including a grand slam, in Cove's 17-3 win over Shoemaker on Thursday night, when the Lady Dawgs had 10 hits.
Cove (13-8, 2-1 12-5A) scored nine of 10 runs in the second and third innings with two outs after finishing the first inning deadlocked with the Lady Roos 1-1 after the first.
Ashley and Justine Hartwell each had RBIs and Cove scored on a pair of passed balls with two outs in a four-run second and Katie Parris had an RBI single, followed by an Ashley Hartwell walk and a Justine Hartwell fielder's choice to load the bases for Brown. A passed ball scored Parris just before Brown's home run.
"When we've got folks on base, we want to hit it hard and take a chance that it'll go between somebody," Lowery said. "And (Brown's) have been going between the fence and the parking lot."
Justine Hartwell scored on a passed ball in the first inning, but the Lady Roos (2-10) answered in the bottom of the inning with an RBI sacrifice by Pollethe Ramirez to score Shalanda Hyde.
But the struggles between Killeen freshman pitcher Olivia Lacewell and sophomore catcher Keeana Fruge started to take their toll in the second. Lacewell bookended a pair of walks around a strikeout after a flyout to start the inning, but two passed balls and a pair of fielding errors scored all but one of Cove's second-inning runs. Justine Hartwell hit an RBI triple to center field and eventually scored on a passed ball to put the Lady Dawgs up 5-1.
"After the first inning, one little dinker here and there, one little overthrow, not going to the right place, but, other than that, we're better than we were Tuesday night (a 9-2 loss)," said Killeen coach Randy James. "It's just putting together seven innings of a ball game and being consistent in doing it right now.
"You look, you've got a freshman in the circle and you see she's throwing to a new catcher tonight ... it gets a little frustrating."
Fruge made her first varsity start behind the plate in the place of the injured Desiree Garcia, who was out after a collision Tuesday night.
Lacewell hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Chelsea Johnson and Jasmine Moultrie followed two batters later with an RBI single that scored Pollethe Ramirez.
Cove scored three in the fourth with Ashley Hartwell hit a two-run single and Brown picking up her four RBI of the night with an RBI single.
The Lady Dawgs return home for the first time since Wednesday's win over Ellison to play Belton on Monday at 2 p.m. The Lady Roos play at Ellison on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562. Follow him on Twitter at KDHsports.