As the Little Elm baseball and softball teams approach the start of the second half of District 5-6A play, the Lobos will look to string the type of performances like they put together in recent games against Prosper Rock Hill and McKinney.
The Lady Lobos came into Tuesday’s conference game against McKinney with just one win on the season, but a combination of timely offense and stingy pitching by freshman Katie Mince paced Little Elm to a 14-1 run-rule win in five innings.
Mince was spectacular in the circle, allowing just one run on one hit and needed just 63 pitches to get through five innings of work.
But, that one run allowed McKinney to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. It came courtesy of an RBI sacrifice fly.
The rest of the game was all Little Elm (2-12 overall, 2-4 5-6A).
Georgia Heathcock drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the top of the third and scored shortly thereafter on a two-run single by Mince for a 4-1 Lady Lobo lead.
Heathcock, a University of California-San Diego pledge, went 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs to power the Little Elm offense. Krysten Moran, hitting in the No. 1 spot in the lineup, also had three hits in four at-bats to accompany two RBIs and three runs scored. Mince and Kendall Crumpley each contributed two hits.
The Little Elm baseball team pulled off a dramatic comeback in a March 27 non-district game against Prosper Rock Hill, rallying from a six-run deficit for a 14-11 victory against the Blue Hawks.
It was a game that Rock Hill led 11-5 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Little Elm responded with five runs in the fourth, taking advantage of two hit batters, three walks and an error, to trim the deficit to 11-10.
More miscues by the Rock Hill pitching staff allowed Little Elm to claim the lead for good in the home half of the sixth. KJ Johnson drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk. Two batters later, Franyer Chavez singled to center field. An error by the Blue Hawks allowed two runs to cross home plate on the same play.
Chavez tallied three hits. Cruz, Dickinson, Mateer and Quintin Whitfield contributed two hits in a winning cause.
After struggling on the mound early in the game, Little Elm’s bullpen put the clamps on Rock Hill’s offense. Ryan Irish, Robert LaMarch and Kade Byrom-Sissney combined to allowed just one run over the game’s final 4.2 innings. Byrom-Sissney yielded just one hit in 3.2 innings of work to slam the door on the Blue Hawks.
“Our starter John Mateer didn’t have his best stuff on the mound, but to give him credit, he did not let his struggles on the mound affect his at-bats or outfield play after we made the switch on the mound,” said Matt Harbin, Little Elm head coach. “Robert LaMarch and Ryan Irish did a great job bridging the gap for us to get to Kade Byrom-Sissney, who closed out the last few innings and go the win. He got some scoreless innings and gave us a chance to come back and win.
Harbin credited home runs that Chavez and Josh Renteria hit in the bottom of the first inning as a big reason as to why the Lobos were able to overcome deficits of 3-0 and 11-5.
“Scoring two behind their three-spot in the bottom of the first was the difference in the mindset of our players,” Harbin said. “We had been pressing at the plate the last few games, and having back-to-back home runs in that spot lifted not only our team, but our fans as well.”
Unfortunately for the Lobos, they were unable to carry over that momentum into Tuesday’s 5-6A game against Allen, which the Eagles won 7-0.
Little Elm (5-14-2 overall, 0-5 5-6A) was limited to two hits and Allen scored three runs in the top of the fifth to pull away.