After falling behind by four runs, the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets managed to get the tying run to the plate multiple times in the final three innings.
But Whitewright pitcher Tori Perkins kept working out of the jams to hold Boyd at bay and pick up the 7-4 victory in game one of the Class 2A area-round series at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
“We’re a good-hitting team. We just didn’t have the key hits,” said Boyd third baseman Payton Salmon, who went 3-for-4 with a double.
Boyd will try to even the series at 3 p.m. Saturday in game two. If necessary, game three will follow.
“We’re confident going into Saturday,” Salmon said.
The Lady Yellowjackets will need to cut down on their strikeouts. Perkins fanned 13. She struck out Gabby Saldivar and Amber Bowen to end the fifth with runners at second and third. She got Saldivar again in the seventh to end the game again with runners in scoring position.
“Too many strikeouts and fly outs,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “We got some good hits. We just didn’t get the key hits when we needed them.”
Whitewright took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second with a lead-off double by Anna Shope followed by an inside-the-park home run to right field by the speedy Tucker Caraway.
Boyd cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second. Chelsea Arlington doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Arlington went back into the pitching circle for the third and got two quick outs. She then allowed a single up the middle followed by a walk to Keely Selman. That brought Shope back to the plate. She ripped a single to left to bring home a run.
Arlington got Caraway to hit a grounder to short, but the Lady Yellowjackets couldn’t turn it into an out, committing an error at third. It was one of three errors by Boyd.
CJ Crane made them pay with a single to bring home the third and fourth two-out runs of the frame and put Whitewright up 6-2.
“We had a couple of errors that cost us,” Hopkins said. “We both had eight hits. We just had the three errors on our side.”
Whitewright added another unearned run in the fourth to take a 7-3 lead.
Arlington held Whitewright scoreless over the final three innings. She allowed seven runs – four earned – on eight hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Arlington, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, just missed a three-run homer in the bottom of the third, doubling off the top of the fence to drive in two runs that pulled Boyd with three, 6-3.
After Whitewright scored its seventh run in the top of the fourth, Boyd scored in the bottom of the frame. Kassidy Lester got a two-out single and scored on a triple by Savannah Foster. That turned out to be the last run to cross the plate for the Lady Yellowjackets.