Lady Dawgs inch closer to playoffs

Cove Leader-Press
KILLEEN – It was time.
Copperas Cove senior Rachel Jost had been struggling to find her way at the plate of late, and with the bases loaded in a 5-5 tie, it was time to strike. The lefty turned on a two-out, bases-loaded offering by Ellison pitcher Madison Livers and bounced it off the left-centerfield wall to give the Lady Dawgs an 8-5 lead on the way to a 10-7 win after trailing most of the game. “It was tied 5-5 and there were two outs with the bases loaded,” said Jost. “I knew I had to do something. I was due a hit. The last two games haven’t been my best and my earlier at-bats weren’t my best so, with that pressure, I knew I had to show up.” That she did. With two strikes against her, she turned and dropped it in the gap to plate fellow seniors Carlee Duran, Angel Mullen and Veronica Marshall as part of a seven-run inning that secured the win and their place in the hunt for a playoff berth. “I knew it was outside,” said Jost about the fateful pitch. “I got my timing down right. On the other pitches I was too early, so I waited a little bit and I got it. I was really excited. I was hoping it would go over because I’ve never hit one over. It was pretty close so I was really happy. “Coach Waller always tells to say yes or no – yes for a good pitch and no for a bad one,” added Jost. “He also wants us to breathe before we step into the box, so I was relaxed and not uptight in that type of situation.” Apparently, it was a yes. “It broke the game wide open and became the difference in the game,” Cove head coach Bryan Waller said about the three-run shot of Jost. “That’s something I’ve been talking her about all season. That’s her zone – her sweet spot – that left-centerfield, because that’s where she’s designed to hit the ball. She was determined tonight. She got all of the ball and connected big time.” Senior Raelynn Morris-Utu pounded the ball to the centerfield wall to begin the fifth. A walk by Mia Gonzales and a single to left by Ariel Smith put more runners on. Morris-Utu and Gonzales eventually scored on a pair of wild pitches. Smith was knocked home by the RBI single of Mullen. Duran was hit by a pitch before the Hughes single and Marshall drew a walk to load the bases for the Jost shot. “We had made a few errors and one of my key pitches wasn’t working,” said Duran. “I was frustrated and I know that they were, but we were like, ‘Who wants it more? We do,’ so we just came through. We started off with a hit and we just kept going with the momentum like before.” Duran, who was a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with two doubles, two runs and a RBI and was hit by a pitch to reach in her fifth at-bat, got the Cove bats started in the top of the first inning. “That’s why she’s the leadoff,” said Waller said about Duran. “She’s not the typical leadoff with blazing speed, but she sees the ball real well and she hit the ball hard all night long. Hopefully, that set the table for everyone else behind her and eventually, everybody got that same mojo going.” She doubled to reach before Marshall (2-for-3, 2R, RBI, 2BB) knocked her home with a single to the outfield. Marshall eventually scored on a wild pitch after being moved around by a Jost walk and Morris-Utu fielder’s choice. The next five runs came from Ellison. The Lady Eagles knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff batter Zariah Robins cranked a single to centerfield and was knocked home on a double by Dusti Douglas that turned into a run after a Cove fielding error allowed her to advance home. Ellison added three more runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-2 lead. Robins again singled to lead off the inning before advancing home on a passed ball and a throwing error. Douglas drew a walk to reach and scored on a Kennedy Connell double. Kennedy was knocked home on a ground out by Adriana Camargo for the final run of the inning. Ellison pulled within two in the bottom of the fifth, 9-7, when Douglas and Connell each doubled to lead off the inning and a Cove fielding error off the bat of Taren Frescatore allowed Connell to score. Cove (13-7, 6-3 in District 12-6A) added another run in the sixth inning on a RBI single by Duran that plated Zoe Frizell, who singled to reach. Jost finished 1-for-3 with a run, three RBIs and a walk. Morris-Utu (2-for-4, R), Mullen, (2-for-4, R, RBI), Smith (1-for-2, R) and Frizzell (1-for-3, R, BB) also contributed from the plate for Cove. Robins (3-for-4, 2R), Douglas (3-for-4, 3R) and Connell (3-for-4, 2R, RBI) led the Lady Eagle’ bats. Duran also picked up the win from the circle for Cove and Livers suffered the loss for Ellison (4-4 in District 12-6A). “It was very important win because it gets us one step closer to the playoffs and more breathing room in case we have a hiccup along the way,” said Waller. “I don’t foresee a hiccup though because they’re focused and driven and they’re going to get ready for their next game and the next game after that.” “We really needed it,” Jost said about the win. “Ellison is always really good competition. It was either going to be Ellison or us in third – we knew that coming in. We wanted third and we wanted it more, but it was a good battle.” The Lady Dawgs host No. 14 Waco Midway tonight for junior high night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ------------ Bulldawgs rally to beat Connally in non-district tilt PFLUGERVILLE - The Bulldawgs hit the road for a make-up game in Pflugerville snagging a 13-12 victory thanks to a five run seventh inning rally. With the score tied at 12 in the seventh inning, Clay Fisher racked up two RBIs on one hit for the Dags scoring Jeremi Hawkins. Each team blasted the other’s pitching as there were 25 total runs on 23 hits during the game. Hawkins racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Bulldawgs. He singled in the third inning and doubled in the sixth inning. The bottom of the first saw Pflugerville Connally take an early lead, 1-0. The Connally attack began with a triple from Jason Hedges. Cove brought home three runs in the third inning, and and three more in the fourth. In the third, Brandon Williams scored on an RBI single by Hawkins. After a quick strike from Cove, Connally responded with three runs in the third. Pflugerville Connally scored on a passed ball a pair of wild pitches. Pflugerville Connally quickly matched the Bulldawgs’ strong inning with a eight-run inning of its own in the fourth. Connally scored on a sacrifice fly by Mason Moorman, an error, an RBI single by Tai Alguilar, an RBI single by George Pettus, a bases loaded walk by Caleb Justice, a passed ball, and a two-run double by Hedges. The Bulldawgs never surrendered the lead after the seventh inning. The runs piled on thanks to a two-run double by Terrance Chamberlin, an error, and an RBI single by Williams.

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