Flash Staff Report
STEPHENVILLE (July 16, 2017) — Clyde took pole position with a 5-4 victory over Stephenville that took 11 innings and three
hours to decide on Saturday, giving them the winner’s bracket advantage they needed to claim a state tournament
And by winning their lone winner’s bracket game, the Lady Bulldogs were able to stay fresh for a 12-inning bout with the home team that the home team won, but also emptied the thank in, before Clyde rolled in the ‘if’ game to determine the champion of the Texas Teenage Softball High School Eligible tournament at Stephenville City Park.
The Lady Bulldogs won two of three games that covered 30 total innings against Stephenville in bracket play, and that was the difference. Actually, a run in the bottom of the 11th in their bracket game made he difference.
Clyde played once more Saturday – Stephenville twice – and was sitting by then stretching and warming up while Stephenville used nine unanswered runs to come from behind for a 10-5 victory against Rice Consolidated to survive the loser’s bracket Sunday morning.
Then, as if Saturday’s 3-hour bout with Clyde was just a precursor, the teams played with Stephenville having to win and Clyde looking to win the tourney without a loss. They finally accepted one after allowing seven runs in the top of the 12th and getting only two back in the bottom of the inning. Stephenville won, 12-7, but the tank looked empty from the start as Clyde built a 3-0 led in the top of the first, then stretched it to 8-2 by the fifth. They won, 10-4, in a tournament full of twists and turns not typical of the HSE event in its prior trips to Stephenville.
The HSE isn’t always so intense, with top players often missing while competing for select clubs in bigger events elsewhere. Julia Flores did that Friday morning but was back for the start of bracket play Friday evening. She had two gems, shutting out Bosqueville before exiting the circles with a 7-0 lead in a 7-5 win over Bosqueville Friday evening. She faced them again and helped Stephenville to an 11-0 win before freshmen took the field and held off a charge to win 11-8.
Following the loss to Clyde, Stephenville had to get past Brownwood, which did not have star pitcher Cheyenne Ellett. The Lady Lions still proved a hard out, but the Bees broke a 6-6 tie with three straight runs in a 9-7 win win that sent their longtime rivals home.
Their full UIL rosters battled through a classic in the area round of the Region I-4A playoffs this past spring with Stephenville winning game one, 2-1, before Ellett took over in 2-1 and 1-0 Brownwood victories, the deciding game three going to eight innings.
The win over Brownwood Saturday led to the rematch with Bosqueville before the Sunday triple header for Stephenville, the second place finisher ahead of third-place Rice Consolidated in the nine-team event. Rice Consolidated actually led Stephenville 4-1 before a game-tying 3-run bomb by Jessica Howell, her third dinger of the weekend, touched off an explosion of nine straight runs by the Bees. Rice got just one of those back and Stephenville as Stephenville reached the final of the event for the first time.
Howell finished with three home runs, a positive sign for a Stephenville team that will count on the catcher to help recoup some of the high-voltage power that left the lineup with the graduation of National Fast Pitch News Honorable-Mention All-American, Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State, Abilene Reporter-News Big Country Offensive Player of the Year and District 8-4A Offensive MVP Nadine Arrednodo. Arredondo hit 26 home runs to set the school carer record, and that included a school-record 14 in a single season this past spring.
Pool game weren’t meaningful except meet the guarantee of four games per teams. Everyone played two by 2 p.m. Friday and Stephenville split, beating Rusk, 4-3, and losing to Clyde, 5-1, while Flores was away.
It’s the third straight summer the HSE tournament has been at Stephenville City Park, which is hosting three Texas Teenage Baseball-Softball Association state tournaments, the most of any city statewide.
The 15U softball tournament begins Monday and the 15U baseball tournament that includes three local teams – the Stephenville Royals and Rangers and the Dublin Yankees – starts next Monday, July 24.
Dublin also has a 10U softball team,the Dominators, who are 13-0 and began competition in that TTAS state tournament in Mildred, next door to Corsicana, on Monday.