Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Guyer pulls out win over Keller
For Guyer softball coach Keith Medford, there was no ecstatic celebration, only a relaxed, confident fist pump.
His Lady Wildcats got the final out on a sharp grounder to second base to shock the district’s top team, Keller, with a 4-3 win at home on Tuesday, and Medford was intent on reminding his team that the win was nothing too special.
“We made a point to make sure that it’s just a district game, that’s what it is,” Medford said after beating Keller, the state’s No. 3 team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A state poll. “I don’t want to disrespect Keller because I respect them tremendously. They’re highly ranked in the state and [head coach] Lindsay’s [Strong] a great friend of mine and she coaches the way you’re supposed to coach, but it’s a district game and a district win. That’s what we’re trying to get, is a lot of those.”
But it wasn’t an ordinary win. It was a win over a district favorite in a game which Guyer played uncharacteristically shaky defense and committed five errors.
Guyer started the game about as poorly as it could have, with two errors in Keller’s first two at-bats, and sophomore pitcher Suzette Palmer walked the No. 3 hitter to load the bases with no outs.
Keller’s clean-up hitter, Bailee Kaderka, hit a ground ball to score the leadoff hitter, and the next hitter, Brittany Lee, hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in another run. But overall, the damage done wasn’t as bad as it could have been as Keller (16-4-1, 4-1) led just 2-0 after one inning.
“I think that says a lot about our team because we take a lot of pride in our defense, and for that to happen it would’ve been real easy for us to completely crumble,” Medford said. “The kids stayed together and stayed positive. Those things are gonna happen in this game and that’s not what defines you. What defines you is how you come back from those things.”
From that point, the Lady Wildcats (16-4, 4-1) did a lot of coming back.
Palmer led off the bottom of the second inning with a hard single up the middle, which was followed by a Kennedy Been bunt single and consecutive walks to Kylie Miyata and Kayla Mellinger, whose walk scored courtesy runner Alyssa Murphy and chased Kaderka from the circle with just one inning completed.
Guyer proceeded to leave three runners on base after Kaderka was relieved by Keller’s usual starter, Katie Ramsay.
The bottom of the third proved to be even bigger for Guyer, as catcher Caitlin Christopher reached on a single after a hard-fought nine-pitch at-bat that included five foul balls.
She was driven in on a triple to the right-center field gap by Palmer, who finished the night 3-for-3, and then Murphy was driven in by Been to give Guyer the lead.
Once she had the lead, Palmer was able to settle in and relax in the circle, holding Keller scoreless for four straight innings until the Lady Indians scored on another error in the top of the sixth inning.
In all, Palmer scattered five singles, and all three of the runs she allowed were unearned.
“She mixes it up a lot,” Medford said. “That has a lot to do with Caitlin [Christopher]. I don’t want to leave her out because she works so well with Suzie on her strengths and she keeps hitters off-balance as good as anyone I’ve ever coached. Those two working together are a great combination, but it does boil down to the person in the circle.”
With a one-run lead and three outs remaining from putting Guyer in a tie for the District 7-5A lead, the Lady Wildcats got yet another scare.
After Ramsay grounded out to second baseman Jenice Aloyo, Kaderka reached on the fifth error of the night when the ball was overthrown to first base and Kaderka avoided the late tag attempt by first baseman Megan Washam.
But courtesy runner Katherine Horton was cut down at second base on a grounder to shortstop and then Jessica McClasky’s grounder to Aloyo ended the game.
“I’ll tell you what, to be able to survive five errors and win is something that doesn’t happen very often,” Medford said. “We cannot expect to do anything close to that again. If you’re able to overcome five errors against a team like Keller, I think you can probably do just about anything. Good grief, they’re a great group of kids over there and somehow we survived those errors and played good enough to win.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Guyer 4, Keller 3
WP – Suzette Palmer. LP – Katie Ramsay. 3B – G: Palmer. Records – Keller (16-4-1, 4-1). Guyer (16-4, 4-1).