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Nine in six: Centennial uses big inning to defeat Wakeland
BY CHRIS O'DELL, firstname.lastname@example.org
FRISCO -- The Wakeland softball team entered the bottom of the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead against district-leading Centennial on Friday.
The Lady Titans stole the show in the home half of the sixth by scoring nine times en route to a 10-3 victory.
"That's the way this district is," said Mike Dyson, Centennial head coach. "It's all about momentum."
"We were six outs away," said Chris Southard, Wakeland head coach. "Sometimes six outs can be hard to get though."
The Lady Titans led off the inning with a walk from sophomore Caroline O'Neal before using back-to-back Wakeland errors to load the bases with no outs.
"Any time you give teams extra outs, you're going to pay," Southard said.
Sophomore shortstop Sarah Coronado then knotted the game at two runs apiece with an RBI single up the middle before seeing Centennial take its first lead of the night on an RBI fielder's choice from senior second baseman Caroline Curtiss.
Centennial added RBI hits from outfielder Abby Walsh, starting pitcher Mackenzie Jones and O'Neal later in the inning to take a 10-2 advantage into the seventh.
"This is what [the Lady Titans] have been doing lately," Dyson said.
Wakeland junior shortstop Emily Acuna trimmed the deficit to 10-3 in the top of the seventh with a two-out solo home run to left centerfield. However, it was too little too late for the Lady Wolverines, who scored the game's first run on a wild pitch from Jones.
The senior hurler pitched a complete game while surrendering three runs on four hits and five walks.
"I thought [Jones] pitched well," Dyson said. "She gave up some walks, but walks sometimes depend on the umpire."
Jones was opposed by Wakeland sophomore Kaelyn Wester. Wester began strong and limited the Lady Titans to just one run through five innings before losing command in the sixth.
"[Wester] got a little tired," Southard said. "This is her first year throwing so she's still young and learning, just like most players on this team."
The sophomore righty tossed 5.1 innings and surrendered 10 runs on eight hits and nine walks while also fanning six batters.
The Lady Wolverines took the game's first lead in the top of the third after designated hitter Schieler Collins drew a leadoff walk before Wakeland made it two on with no outs when outfielder Melissa Livermore reached base on an error during the ensuing at-bat.
The Lady Wolverines eventually loaded the bases in the inning before Jones sent a pitch past junior catcher Kaytie Proctor that scored Collins without a play at the plate.
Centennial scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth after junior Sam Schaefer belted an RBI single to score O'Neal, who drew a leadoff walk earlier in the inning.
"There was three innings in a row that we walked the leadoff batter," Southard said. "You can't do that."
At 7-11-1 on the season, the Lady Wolverines will now look to rebound with a 7 p.m. Wednesday home contest against The Colony. Wakeland will put its undefeated district mark on the line against Frisco at the same time.
"This district is going to be tight all the way through," Dyson said.
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