Miranda slams Lady Spartans
The last time Burleson beat Centennial in softball, current Lady Elks coach Summer Owen was finishing her degree at Texas-Arlington and her sister, Mallory Foster, and three other sensational seniors defeated the Lady Spartans, 8-3, at Centennial.
That happened March 5, 2013. It was the first time the teams met in a varsity game.
Friday night, Burleson’s Zoe Miranda belted a grand slam early and drove in an insurance run late as Burleson defeated Centennial, 9-7, in eight innings in a District 9-5A game.
It was the Lady Elks second straight extra-inning victory and got them right back into the playoff hunt with a few games remaining. The loss halted the Lady Spartans current winning streak at nine games.
The win ended a 10-game Centennial winning streak over Burleson and served as a balm for some of the pain of a 19-0 playoff loss to the Lady Spartans last season.
“It’s amazing how our team can come together at the moments that we need to,” said Miranda, who drove in six runs. “I know they have faith in me and I have faith in every one of them. It’s been a rough season but this just makes it worth it.”
The Lady Elks (11-11, 7-5) run-ruled Seguin,15-0, Tuesday night. Burleson plays tonight at Crowley and hosts Everman Tuesday for senior night. It will also be the final game of 9-5A last.
Centennial (11-1, 18-6) scored fives runs in the sixth inning Wednesday to win at Granbury, 5-1. The Lady Spartans host Cleburne tonight for senior night and play Tuesday at Joshua to end district play.
Burleson took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Miranda double then added a run in the third on a passed ball.
The Lady Elks came up big in the fourth when Miranda drove a 1-0 pitch high over the left-field fence for a grand slam and a 6-0 lead.
“There was so much redemption that happened tonight,” Owen said. “Since I started coaching here we’ve chipped away at them little by little. When we scored that first run, I thought today is the today. Then we hit the grand slam and I was like today better be the day. But they fought back just like we knew they would. They are a great team and that’s what makes tonight’s win even better.”
The Lady Spartans, who struggled early, picked up a pair of runs in the fourth and added three in the sixth to close to within 6-5. The three runs came on a ground out, a Haley Murrell RBI-double and a Carley Eller run-scoring hit.
In the seventh, the Elks pushed their advantage to 7-5 on a two-out pinch hit RBI-single by Sarah Alexander.
Centennial coach Shannon Sullivan warned her team that Burleson would be going all-out Friday night and was a little disappointed with her squad’s effort early.
“I told them (Burleson) had to win and they were going to come out for blood and they did,” Sullivan said. “They stroked the ball well, played good defense and were excited and hyped up. We didn’t come with our flavor at all. When we finally turned it up and tied it up, it was great and exciting. But we were going up against a team that was going to fight to the death and they did.”
The Lady Spartans tied the game in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a run-scoring ground-out by Marley Eller and a two-out RBI single by Reagan Ellison.
The Lady Elks opened the eighth with four consecutive hits that led to a pair of runs and a 9-7 lead. Kyleigh Rich singled in one run and Miranda brought in the other with a single.
Owen switched things up in the bottom of the inning, relieving starting pitcher Rich with freshman hurler Haley Vasquez. The freshman didn’t seem concerned with the situation as she retired the side in order for the save.
“It was a great game and was fun,” Sullivan said. “We learned tonight what we have to it bring every inning of every game.”