By BRAD KEITH
GLEN ROSE (April 28, 2015) — Freshman Julia Flores allowed only two hits from the circle and scored two runs for Stephenville in a 4-2 win over Brownwood to claim the No. 3 playoff seed from District 6-4A Tuesday evening.
The Bees will face 5-4A runner-up Burkburnett in the bi-district round of the state playoffs, most likely in a single game on Friday. Details were not finalized at the time of this writing, but will be available as soon as possible on The Flash.
As the No. 4 seed from 6-4A, Brownwood faces 5-4A champ Vernon in the opening round.
Stephenville led the rest of the way after scoring twice in the bottom of the first. Morgan Diciccio bunted her way aboard to lead off the inning, and eventually scored on one of two singles by Emily Miller. Nadine Arredondo, who walked before the hit by Miller, scored on a ground out by Flores to make it 2-1.
The Honeybees stretched their lead to 3-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the third. Flores drew a walk, then managed to score from first on a throwing error when it appeared Alexus Duckett had hit into a harmless ground out.
The third baseman threw the ball wide of the bag at first, and by the time it was ruled out of play in the Glen Rose dugout, Flores had already rounded second and headed for third. The umpire ruled that because the out couldn’t be assumed at third even if the ball had stayed in play, Flores should be awarded home as her free base on the dead ball.
Stephenville would need no help in scoring its final run in the bottom of the fifth. Miller and Flores each lined singles to the outfield to start the game. After a fly out, Miller was retired on a fielder’s choice that put Flores at second and Sierra Varnado at first.
Rainey Boase had the big hit this time, as the freshman right fielder hit a hot shot over the glove of the leaping second baseman to bring in Flores for a 4-1 advantage.
Both Brownwood runs were unearned. A single and a two-base error in the outfield set up a run in the top of the first to give the Lady Lions their only lead. A dropped fly ball proved to be a three-base error in the seventh, and the runner scored on a wild pitch.
Flores was dominant on the mound, striking out eight and issuing just one walk while allowing no earned runs.
Stephenville had eight hits to just two by Brownwood. Each team committed two errors in the rubber match after they split their two district battles, each winning on the other’s home field. The teams were in a three-way tie with Abilene Wylie until Brownwood eliminated Wylie in a play-in game on Monday.
Stephenville had a bye in the first round of the three-team playoff due to its regular-season sweep of Wylie that gave the Honeybees a 3-1 record between the tied teams.
Stephenville is in the playoffs for the fifth straight year, also the fifth time in program history. The Honeybees won a three-game series against Joshua to earn their only area-round appearance in 2011.
The Bees have made the playoffs all four years under head coach Rus Mayes. They were eliminated in bi-district last year by Lampasas.