ABILENE After dropping an emotional Game 2 to Keller Timber Creek, the Permian softball team needed to come out with lots of energy in Game 3 of its best-of-3 area round series.
Backed by a solid offensive and defensive performance, the Lady Panthers eliminated the Falcons with a 7-1 victory Saturday at Abilene Christian University’s Wells Field.
Permian advanced to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals where they’ll meet Abilene High, which swept El Paso Coronado.
The Lady Panthers rebounded with plenty of determination after Saturday’s disappointing effort.
“With a great team like Timber Creek, you’ve gotta have the energy,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “We’ve told them the whole time. With them starting off with the energy knowing what they had to do to get it done, I think that they did the best that they could do right there.”
Timber Creek loaded the bases in the first inning, but the Lady Panthers prevailed on defense to get out of the jam.
Permian (31-3) broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Shadie Davis’ two-run home run, along with Hunter Harkrider’s two-run double.
Davis finished 2 for 3 with a single, homer and two RBIs.
“It felt good. I told them that before we even started playing (that) we got to come out,” Davis said. “They were ready, but we came out harder, and it felt really good.
“We were all together. We were a family today. Yesterday we hit the ball, but we hit it right to people. We fought today. This is a good team and we’ll go far. We’re not stopping at area.”
Audrey Garcia added a suicide squeeze bunt to plate home Monique Pando in the big rally.
The Falcons (20-10) stranded 10 runners and finished with seven hits, scoring their lone run on an RBI single by Mady Lohman in the fourth inning.
Hannah Banker got the run back with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth for the final margin.
The Lady Panthers had 12 hits. Harkrider went 1 for 3 with the double and two RBIs. Rylee Day finished 2 for 3 with a single and a double.
Pando and Garcia each went 2 for 3 with two singles.
Pitcher Alexis Morales had four strikeouts in a complete-game outing. She walked just three batters.
Lauryn Davies led Timber Creek going 2 for 2 with two singles and a walk. Lohman finished 1 for 3 with a single, a walk and one RBI.
“I’m so proud of them, obviously I’m always proud of them, but regardless of the situation, they come out and do exactly what we had a plan for,” Williams said. “That’s exactly what I expected.”
The Lady Panthers know that to succeed against Abilene, they will have to continue to be consistent at the plate and in the field.
“They have been in our district before … a couple of years ago,” Williams said. “We know how they play for the majority, but I can tell you this, it would make history if we win against them.
“So, we’re gonna come out with just as much fire, if not more.”
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Timber……….. 001 0000 — 1 7 0
Permian……… 600 100x — 7 12 2
Rylee Layton and Natalie Sorensen. Alexis Morales and Hannah Banker. W — Morales. L — Layton. 2B — Permian: Hunter Harkrider, Rylee Day. HR — Permian: Shadie Davis, Banker.
Records — Permian (31-3): Keller Timber Creek (20-10).