By Kyle Koso
WESTMINSTER – After taking some flak and fending off a rally, the Texas Bombers might have wondered if there was still some wobble to cope with against the Lady Dukes on Wednesday afternoon.
But at the Colorado 4th of July 18u TV game, the Bombers regained all the positive rhythm that got the unit off to a good start, and before too long they had a 13-3 run-rule victory over the Lady Dukes in five innings at the Christopher Fields complex.
Mia Scott hit two home runs and drove in four runs; Baylea Brandon also homered, and Demi Elder punched in three more runs with a double as the Bombers won the Triple Crown TV game for the first tie in three tries. Starting pitcher Sophia Simpson escaped without too damage in the one troubling inning on the occasion, notching seven strikeouts.
After jumping ahead 8-0, the Bombers got a little sideways with each other on some fielding plays, opening the door for the Dukes (Cary, NC) in the bottom of the third inning. The inning ended on a tag play at home after a ball went to the backstop, and the three runs the Dukes plated would be it for the rest of the night.
“I thought we lost focus there defensively, stopped communicating and maybe got comfortable with that lead. We relaxed, and they put together some small stuff to force us to play defense, and we didn’t do a real good job,” said Bombers head coach Scott Smith. “Sophie settled in, got us some strikeouts. I told the group, this was significant because we were trying to do something for the first time.
“To do it the way we did, run-rule fashion … take that one inning out of it, I thought we played really well. Offensively, we were seeing it. We had a good plan and stick to it, and the scoreboard showed it at the end of the game.”
If Simpson (a University of Texas commit) was at all troubled by the third inning, it certainly didn’t last. She struck out the side in the fourth and rang up the next three batters after giving up a leadoff single in the fifth.
“My team did exactly what they can do; it’s expected, nothing new, and we should always hit like that. I should have done better, but it was a good game,” Simpson said. “I either think I can strike the next girl out with a changeup or rise ball, or I let my defense go to work because I know they have my back. Striking them out is something I feel I should do every time.”
Maci Bergeron (LSU) drive in two runs as the Bombers batted around and put up seven runs overall. In the fifth, Scott’s second home run built the lead out to 10 runs, also bringing home Elder (Texas Tech).
“I just go up there and try to see the ball well,” said Scott, also a Texas commit. “It felt good; I don’t really get excited, but it was great.”
For the Lady Dukes, Aminah Vega had three hits, including a home run, and Jalia Lassiter had two hits.