Lady Lions Stun First-Place Graham In 10 Innings, 10-9, To Clinch Playoff Spot


In what may be remembered as one of the wildest and most memorable games in the history of the Brownwood High School softball program, the Lady Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to knock off the District 6-4A front-running Graham Lady Blues, 10-9, and clinch a postseason berth in Friday night’s home finale.

In the rematch of a 12-0 Graham victory on March 25, Friday’s game featured 28 hits, 12 walks, 12 errors and 25 base runners stranded between the two teams – and lasted just over three hours.

“I told the girls I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anybody else because nobody has more heart than the girls I have,” said Lady Lions head coach Cherita Munguia. “The biggest thing for us was deciding between our ears we can do it. They have the skill, they have the talent, but they have to believe it themselves.”

The victory locks up a playoff berth for Brownwood (10-11, 4-3), which has thrust itself in the district championship mix and is only a half-game behind co-leaders Graham (19-8, 4-2) and Glen Rose (16-11, 4-2) with the regular season finale scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Stephenville (10-12, 3-3). Mineral Wells (10-20, 1-6) was ousted from postseason contention with a 9-1 loss to Glen Rose Friday night.

Tied at 7 in the top of the 10th inning, a pair of two-out errors by Brownwood allowed Graham to seize a 9-7 advantage – the first runs for the Lady Blues since the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the 10th, Lady Lion Carlee Burks reached on a one-out error – one of eight miscues in the game by Graham. Another error during Jeniffer Romero’s at-bat allowed Burks to score and cut the deficit to 9-8. Chloe Walls followed with a single, then Tynlea Wilson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jakayla Peek then drew a free pass, which plated Romero with the tying run.

With one out and the bases still loaded, Peyton Pena hit a pop fly to the edge of the grass that was hauled in by the Graham shortstop for the second out. However, the throw back to the pitcher in the circle was errant and rolled to the wall down the first base line, which allowed Walls to break for home from third base and score the winning run ahead of a late throw to the plate.

“We made a lot of mistakes, I made a lot of mistakes, but I knew after 10 innings Tynlea couldn’t go out there again, so I was kind of glad Graham scored there because I knew we were going to end it, 10-9,” Munguia said. “I can’t tell you how I knew it, but I just knew these girls had it in them, and I didn’t want Tynlea to have to throw another pitch.”

Wilson pitched all 10 innings for Brownwood as she tossed 169 pitches, including 100 for strikes, and yielded six earned runs on 19 hits with three strikeouts and four walks while standing 15 base runners.

“I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go up there pitch after pitch and you see someone make a mistake and not get frustrated, and she doesn’t,” Munguia said. “She turns around and picks that kid up and says ‘it’s OK.’ When you’re in the 10th inning and we have an error, I can’t imagine having that level of a head to keep calm, but she’s so good to her team. Her bat has come around the last couple of games, and the kid has so much heart. I can’t explain how important she is to our team.”

The Lady Lions trailed 7-3 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning, but scored a pair of runs in that frame and twice more in the fifth inning to knot the score at 7.

In the fourth, Karina Mata reached on an error to start the frame while Romero extended the inning with two outs when she reached on another Graham miscue. The third error of the inning occurred during Walls’ at-bat, which scored Mata, then Wilson singled home Romero to trim the deficit to 7-5.

The fifth inning featured a lead-off walk by Pena and a double by Lila Mares. Mata’s RBI squeeze bunt was able to plate Pena, then an RBI sacrifice fly by Mykaela Mendoza brought home Mares with the tying run.

Trailing 2-0 heading to the bottom of the first inning, the Lady Lions quickly grabbed a 3-2 advantage.

Burks drew a lead-off walk, Romero doubled off the right field wall and Walls followed with a two-RBI double down the third base line to even the score at 2. Wilson followed with an RBI triple down the right field line, plating Walls for a 3-2 edge.

Graham scored the next five runs, reclaiming a 4-3 lead in the top of the third inning while tacking on three more runs in the fourth.