SW knocks Lady Steers out of 1st with a 6-5 win

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

Its starting pitcher went just two innings, but Sweetwater kept it in the family to defeat Big Spring and knock the Lady Steers out of the District 5-4A softball lead here Tuesday.
Sweetwater trailed 4-2 when Elli Lehnert replaced her sister, Kara, on the mound in the third inning. Elli proceeded to shut down Big Spring on just two hits the rest of the way and got the win as Sweetwater rallied for a 6-5 win in its 5-4A home opener at the Jerry Collins Complex.
Sweetwater improved to 1-1, while Big Spring fell to 2-1, a half-game behind idle Brownwood.
Sweetwater led 2-0 after scoring a pair of runs in the first inning, but Big Spring came up with four runs on five hits to take a 4-2 lead in the second.
Sweetwater failed to score after leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, but regained the lead with a three-run third on just one hit, with two steals of home plate on one play putting the Lady Mustangs ahead to stay.
Sweetwater cut it to 4-3 on Emerald Torres’ double that scored Tavis Black, who led off the inning with a walk.
Walks to Jazzy Villa and Kaci Webb loaded the bases and on a pitch that got past the Big Spring catcher, both Annisa McCollom — Torres’ courtesy runner — and Villa scored to give Sweetwater a 5-4 lead.
After Elli Lehnert worked out of a jam in the top of the fourth, the Lady Mustangs added a run in the bottom of the inning on a single by Torres that scored Black, who had reached second on a bunt and stole third base.
Big Spring cut it to 6-5 on a walk, stolen base and error in the fifth, but Lehnert was dominant after that as she retired Big Spring’ last six batters in order. Black ended the game when she robbed Big Spring of a hit with a nifty defensive play at shortstop on a well-hit ball to her left.
Sweetwater won despite stranding nine batters. Its head coach Alex Fuentez said her team managed to overcome some early nerves by being patient and doing what it needed to do.
Torres led the Lady Mustangs offensively, collecting three hits and three RBIs. Sweetwater goes to Snyder for its next game on Friday.

Pictured: Sweetwater's Jazzy Villa slides into home plate safely against Big Spring catcher Kynleigh Joy.
Photo by Betsy Howe