BACK-2-BACK: Bees clinch second district title

Arredondo homer lifts Stephenville past Alvarado, 6-5, in two day affair

Stephenville celebrated a second straight outright district title in 2017. The Bees have nine letter winners, six starters, head coach Rus Mayes and both assistants back ready to try for a 3-peat. || Flash media library


STEPHENVILLE (April 22, 2017) — When they were needed most, the most decorated power hitter and most accomplished pitcher in the history of Stephenville softball delivered their best.

Nadine Arredondo launched her school record 12th home run of her senior season, a two-run bomb over the fence in left, to put Stephenville on top 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth. And with runners at second and first with two outs in the top of the seventh, Julia Flores fired a strikeout to end the game and the 8-4A season with Stephenville standing alone as district champ.

The Honeybees clinched their second straight district title Saturday morning, holding off Alvarado, 6-5, in a game suspended in the middle of the second Friday night because of weather.


Alvarado tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth on a home run by Lakayla Cole. But the Lady Indians elected to pitch to Arredondo even with first base open and Flores, who had singled then stole a base, on second with no outs.

The senior third baseman made the Lady Indians pay dearly.

“I was standing at second and I wasn’t sure it was going to go out,” said Flores of her teammates’ bomb. “Nadine is the best, that’s what she does.”

Mayes knew Arredondo’s shot was leaving the yard right when bat met ball.

“I didn’t even look, I knew it was gone,” said Mayes. “Julia was at first, and I was trying to decide whether to bunt with Nadine to put her in scoring position for the winning run. We showed bunt on the first pitch, but we were going to take the whole way. Once Julia was at second, I was a little surprised they pitched to (Arredondo), but I’m glad they did.”

The Honeybees rushed from the dugout to home plate to welcome home the hero of the moment, but when things settled down there was still work to be done.

Alvarado cut it to 6-5 and had the tying run at second with the go-ahead run at first with one out. A ground ball was fielded cleanly by short stop Madison Gilder, who flipped to Arredondo at third to get the lead runner for the second out.

“Getting the lead runner for the second out was huge because it kept them in the same spot but with two outs instead of one,” Mayes explained. “And then the last out, that’s just Julia doing her thing.”

The thing she does so well – strikeout opposing batters.

“That was nerve-wrecking the whole game,” said Flores. “In the last at bat I was just thinking, ‘throw strikes. I know I have a great defense behind me and they will make the play.’”

They never had to.

Flores painted the outside corner and drew a swing and miss for the last strikeout Stephenville needed for back-to-back district titles.

“It’s awesome, winning the first district title ever last year, and now doing it again,” said Flores. “We’re ready for the playoffs, ready to go to state.”

On Friday, Flores helped her own cause with a two-run bomb to left in the bottom of the first, and Alvarado cut it to 2-1 in the top of the second.


The game would not resume with the bottom of the second until more than 12 hours later because of a storm that brought hail to some parts of Erath County and rain and high winds to all of it.

When play picked up at 9 a.m. Saturday, the Honeybees tacked on two quick runs on a single plus three bases on errors – a de-facto in the park home run – by Morgan DiCiccio in the bottom of the second for a 4-1 lead. Alvarado closed it to 4-2 in the fourth and threatened for more before Flores got a strikeout and ground out to end the threat with runners stranded at third and second.

“That was a grind, but you know when you have a district as good as ours that’s how it’s going to be,” said Mayes. “These girls have worked hard all year to earn this, and I know they will go back to work next week getting ready for the playoffs.”

Stephenville does not know its bi-district opponent. It appeared likely to be Springtown entering this weekend’s action. A top 10 showdown between Stephenville and Brownwood could loom in the area round.

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