By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE – Emily Leib, Megan Chambers and Skye Truss were the Gatesville Hornets' starting pitcher, left fielder and third baseman in Friday's season opener against Ellison.
The 10:30 a.m. game came roughly 15 hours after the trio, along with Paige Chambers, finished their basketball season. Gatesville's basketball team lost its Class 3A area-round game to Iowa Park on Thursday, and with the game and late-night drive from Stephenville, Gatesville head softball coach Michelle Edwards said she didn't expect the basketball players to be there in the morning.
The four Hornets were there and helped Gatesville go 2-0 during pool play at the sixth annual Gatesville Tournament. Gatesville reached the 3A semifinals last season, but start this year without six graduated seniors (five starters) along with working in five freshmen and the basketball players.
"You're expecting a lot our of kids who haven't played together, haven't played a game, haven't played a scrimmage. Some girls haven't practiced at all, so I'm really proud of them for coming out and finding a way to win two."
Gatesville won Pool C with wins over Ellison (10-1) and Austin Anderson (1-0), joining Shoemaker (Pool A), Pflugerville Connally (B) and Elgin (D) in Saturday's Gold Bracket. The Hornets face Connally at 11 a.m., with the Lady Grey Wolves and Elgin to follow two hours later.
Pool's A and B were played Thursday, as Shoemaker went 2-0. The three Pool B teams all finished 1-1, but Connally scored the most runs in its two games to win the pool.
Lampasas finished second in Pool D and plays Clifton at 9 a.m. in the Silver Bracket. The Lady Badgers beat Austin St. Michael's 14-0 before losing 4-0 to Elgin.
Ellison dropped its second game, a 1-0 loss to Anderson to move into the Bronze Bracket. The Lady Eagles play Waco Reicher at 9 a.m. at the city complex's Field 3.
Leib pitched both games for Gatesville, along with an earlier warm-up game, and even helped her own cause against Anderson. She singled in the bottom of the fourth inning and came out for Kari Ament, who immediately stole second base. Cassie Morphet followed with a 2-out single just over the infield, scoring Ament for the game's only run.
"All you need is one run," Edwards said. "If you can find a way to get on base and find a way to get around, that's clutch, or crucial, and we just happened to have the two batters that did it."
Ellison had a chance against Anderson, going in to its last at bat down 1-0. The Lady Eagles put two on with one out before Anderson's Katie Slaughter struck out the final two batters for the win.
"We haven't really had much opportunity to get our rhythm going yet," Ellison coach Carrie Erskine-Biels said. "We're still trying to find all the chemistry, but even with that in the mix, some of the stuff we're doing is not an excuse."
Lampasas stayed with Elgin early, even getting out two jams. Elgin took a 2-0 lead, but loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning before a flyout ended the threat. The Lady Wildcats put two more on in the fourth, but pitcher Kady Crow made a diving catch on a bunt try and a groundout ended the inning.
"They're sticking together and that's the big part," Lampasas coach Chris Munoz said. "These girls have been playing ball since they were way little and they know what they have to do to get the job done."