By BRAD KEITH
(March 13, 2018) — Kristen Pettit contributed to three runs and Julia Flores didn’t allow any as Stephenville (13-8-1, 3-0) remained undefeated in District 8-4A with a 4-0 win over Venus at McCleskey Field Monday.
Flores recorded eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk. She allowed six hits and navigated all seven innings on just 86 pitches, 62 of them strikes.
Her near equal was Venus ace Kaylee Davis, who struckout out the side in each of the first four innings and finished with 15 total strikeouts while surrendering just four hits and issuing two walks. She struck out every Honeybee batter at least once, except Pettit.
And Pettit made her pay.
The senior outfielder drew a walk in the bottom of the third and immediately got aggressive on the basepaths. She stole second then third, where the Venus attempt to catch her stealing resulted in an error allowing her to sprint home.
The Honeybees had the only run they would need.
Mayes again took advantage of his next opportunity to use the Honeybee speed on the basepaths, this time in the bottom of the fourth.
Skye Gaitan reached on an error then advanced to third on a hit-and-run single to left Pettit Two batters later, even with two outs, Mayes called for Madison Gilder to bunt.
That it worked would be an understatement as Gaitan came in virtually on contact and Pettit didn’t stop at third with Venus attempting to get Gilder at first. That throw was late, and so was the relay home as Pettit scored while also causing enough of a distraction for Gilder to reach second.
The insurance was there, and a little more was on the way.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Bianka Garcia belted a solo home run over the fence in left to complete the scoring, and with a four-run lead, Flores relaxed and focused on what she does best – getting outs.
The East Texas Baptist commit got into one small jam when two singles with a passed ball in between gave Venus runners at third and second in the top of the fourth. But there were two outs, and Flores got the ensuing batter to ground out to third to end the inning. It later proved to be the only chance the Bulldogs would get with runners in scoring position.
Stephenville was error-free behind Flores, no doubt a welcome change after combining for 11 errors in non-district losses to Albany and Abilene Cooper on Saturday. Venus committed two errors and three of the Stephenville runs were unearned.