GRAFORD — Faced with a do-or-die situation in the Region I-4A bi-district round of the playoffs, the District 5-4A tri-champion Brownwood Lady Lions lived to fight another day.
The Lady Lions knocked off the 6-4A third seed Burkburnett Lady Bulldogs, 8-2, Thursday in a rematch of the 2017 opening round of the playoffs. A year ago, the Lady Lions were no-hit in a 4-1 loss in the first of a three-game series, but rallied to win the next two games en route to the regional quarterfinal round.
With no room for error in the rematch, the Lady Lions broke a 2-all tie with four runs in the top of the fourth inning, then tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth.
Meanwhile, pitcher Chyanne Ellett — who tossed a no-hitter in Game 2 against Burkburnett last season — chalked up yet another no-hitter in her illustrious career, striking out 13 and walking five.
Knotted at 2 in the top of the fourth, the Lady Lions took control of the contest. Landry Holden was plunked by a Jocelyn Bright pitch to start the frame, then Annie Gillispie prolonged the inning by reaching on a two-out error at third base, one of seven committed by Burkburnett (17-12).
The inning could have been over, instead the Lady Lions made Burkburnett pay for the miscue. Aubrie Harris followed with a two-RBI triple to left field that scored Holden and Gillispie to give Brownwood a 4-2 advantage. Ashlynn Patteson then singled off Bright in the circle, allowing Harris to score the fifth run. Ellett followed with an RBI line drive single to left field to score Patteson and stretch the advantage to 6-2.
After a fairly quiet fifth inning, the Lady Lions went back to work in the sixth. Harris drew a leadoff walk then Patteson reached on a bunt single, and an error on the play moved the runners to third and second base. Ellett followed with an RBI sacrifice fly that drove in Harris, while Aubrey Holden reached on a two-out error that allowed Patteson to score for the final 8-2 margin.
The Lady Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Gillispie walked and Harris singled, then Patteson singled and an error on the play allowed Harris to score the first run. Later, with two outs and Yisel Mendoza at the plate, Harris came home following a wild pitch.
Burkburnett drew even in the bottom of the first as Tayler Tournay was hit by a pitch and Destiny Alberts walked to start the frame. Bright then laid down a bunt and a wild throw to first allowed Tournay to score. Cassidy Summers later followed with an RBI ground out that knocked in Alberts.
The Lady Bulldogs managed just two four base runners the rest of the contest, with two coming on a walk and an error in the top of the second inning.
Brownwood finished with seven hits — three by Patteson, two each by Harris and Gillispie and one apiece from Ellett and Ryleigh Dalleh.
With the win, Brownwood’s 20th of the season, the Lady Lions (20-6-1) will face either Alvarado (22-10) or Benbrook (10-15) in the area round. Alvarado won Game 1 of the bi-district series, 10-0, Thursday.