BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
The little things coach Rus Mayes is always talking reached up and bit the Honeybees in Jacksboro Friday and it led to a 5-3 game two loss that evens Stephenville’s best-of-three series against Graham for the area title.
That means a game three at 3 pm today in Jacksboro and its do-or-die time for Stephenville who either win or go home and start thinking about next year.
Errors cost the Honeybees early as Graham took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Stephenville failed to complete a couple of routine plays in the infield. To be fair the surface was rather tricky and not fully dry after more than an inch rain earlier in the day.
Before the Honeybees got fully adjusted they found themselves down by a 5-0 margin when Graham tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Stephenville gave itself some opportunities leaving two runners stranded in the first inning, two in the fourth inning and later the Honeybees scored no runs with the bases loaded.
Samantha Luna got Stephenville its first run in the fourth inning when she singled and was pushed around the base path via an error and a groundout from Bianka Garcia. Jessica Ebeling’s grounder was hard enough to allow Luna to make it a 5-1 game.
The Honeybees lost another opportunity the next inning when a double play left two more runners stranded.
Garcia finally broke Emma Southerland’s stranglehold on the Honeybee bats when she jacked 2-1 pitch past the left field wall and homered. Luna had reached first on an error and it gave Stephenville two runs to make it 5-3.
The Honeybees threatened to score in the top of the seventh inning when Morgan DiCiccio singled but a strikeout and a pop fly left her stranded at third base and ended the game.
“We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we created for ourselves and we made some little mistakes,” Mayes said. “Saturday we just need to erase that from our minds and drive on. It’s win or go home and we want to win.”