LUBBOCK-The West Texas Lady Comanches traveled a long way down I-27 Saturday night to take on Sundown in the first round of softball playoff action. A nightmarish first inning full of fielding errors gave Sundown an 8-0 lead and had the Lady Tribe in the hole the entire game, and it ended badly after the fifth inning, with WT losing 13-3. In all fairness, four of the main characters on the softball team, had been competing in the Regional Track meet all day Friday and Saturday.
Four innings and six unearned runs put WT behind 8-0 after the first inning. Sundown sat the first six WT hitters down in the first two innings. The Lady Roughnecks loaded the bases in the bottom of the second but the Lady Comanches settled down and got a double play from Abby Summers at short to Sarah Kelly at third, to get out of the inning. West Texas still trailed 8-0 after two innings.
The Lady Tribe showed a little life in the top of the third when Cheyenne Tull got on base with an error by the center fielder. Abby Summers banged out a double and WT had two runners in scoring position. Hailee Flaharity walked to load the bases. Devin DeLapp hit a ground ball to short and Tull was out with a force at home, but Summers got across the plate. Abby Rios was safe at first when the first baseman bobbled the throw from third. Flaharity scored on the play.
WT ended the inning with two runs and trailed 8-2. Three ground balls infield retired Sundown three up and three down, and after three innings the score was still 8-2. Taylor Kirksey walked to lead off the fourth. Natalie Franklin got a hit to deep center field, but Kirksey was thrown out attempting to take third base. Tull got on base with a base hit. Summers popped up and Franklin scored to make the score 8-3.
The Lady Roughnecks got four solid hits in the bottom of the fourth inning and put up five more runs and take a 13-3 lead after four innings. With Sundown ahead ten runs, the Lady Comanches had to score at least one run to avoid the five inning mercy rule. Erin Summers managed to get on base with a walk with one out, but she was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice. Rios got on board with the fielder’s choice base hit, but she was left on board when the next batter grounded out to first for the third out to end the game.
Summers and Franklin had doubles. DeLapp, Rios, and Abby Summers all had RBI’s. The Lady Comanches are scheduled to play Sundown Monday at 5 in Canyon with game 2, and 3 if necessary, in a best out of three series.