FLASH STAFF REPORT
(February 22, 2016) — Kali Smith just wanted to take some at bats, work off some of the rust, then get back to the Stephenville basketball team to continue their playoff run in the regional quarterfinals.
She never could have guessed that she would face a full count with two outs and the bases loaded with the game tied in extra innings.
In her team’s home opener at McCleskey Field, no less.
And in the most odd of finishes, Smith watched as ball four forced in the winning run in a 7-6 victory over Godley, a relieving win for a Honeybee team that finished on the wrong side of similar outcomes too many times while losing five of their first seven.
The Bees (3-5) could have dropped another late-inning thriller, but Smith and Madison Gilder stepped in save the day, and the home opener.
Gilder doubled in the tying run before Smith earned an RBI with her quite literal walk off.
The Honeybees avoided a three-game win streak and take momentum in a week off. They visit Dublin at about 7 p.m. next Tuesday.
Gilder was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, while Smith was 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and, of course, the game-winning RBI.
The eighth began with walks by Sami Shaffer, who had a triple earlier, and Jennie Winstead. Stikeouts No. 19 and 20 for the Honeybee lineup followed before Gilder doubled to bring Shaffer home for the ting run, and leadoff hitter Morgan Diciccio drew a walk to load the bases for Smith.
Before the Honeybees could win, they had to survive, and they did so with four runs in the bottom of the sixth before a scoreless seventh.
The Bees trailed 5-1 after Godley scored in the top of the first, two in the third and two more in the sixth. But Stephenville tallied four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Winstead drew a bases-loaded walk to begin that rally, then Jessica Howell two runs with a double to left. Gilder doubled in another run two batters later, tying the game at 5-5.
Julia Flores had to overcome five Honeybee errors that led to four unearned runs. She surrendered 12 hits including a home run, but struck out 10 batters and issued just two walks.
The Bees earned all their runs, and won despite the 20 strikeouts and just seven hits. They drew a season-high 10 walks. Joining Smith with two each were Diciccio, Shaffer and Winstead.
TheFlashToday.com photos by JESSIE HORTON