AUSTIN - In a back and forth game, Shiner went into the top of the seventh inning with a shot to take the lead.
Kristin Schacherl makes a diving catch on a line drive from a Mart batter on Thursday. Contributed photo by Howard Esse
Did they ever.
Instead, the Lady Comanches scored five to grab the lead from Mart for good and win Game 1 of the regional final series over Mart 12-7 at Austin Vandegrift on Thursday.
"They just took it upon themselves to keep battling," said Shiner coach Brandon Siegel.
Senior right fielder Amber Ramirez hit the go-ahead RBI. Senior pitcher Ashley Shimek ran her record to 22-0 this season.
"We were on top of it, we didn't want to go home with the loss," Ramirez said.
After Mart took a 3-0 lead with a three-run home run by Jessica Williams, the Lady Comanches took a lead only to see Mart tie the game twice.
Shiner can advance to the Class 1A state tournament by beating Mart in Game 2 or 3 on Saturday.
Before recording an out in the top of the first inning, the Lady Comanches were behind by three runs after Williams hit the first pitch she saw to left-center field.
Shimek's ability to shake off the early setback was big for Shiner.
"It's going to happen, I don't let it affect me," Shimek said.
Added Siegel: "She kept her composure, she didn't get rattled."
After managing only four hits in the first three innings, the Lady Comanches took their first lead of the game with a four-run fourth inning.
Shiner was able to string several hits together off of Mart pitcher Lexxi Davenport the second time through the lineup.
"We made her start throwing some more pitches and being more selective as a hitter," Siegel said.
After Jordan Pietsch added an RBI in the top of the fifth, Mart came back to tie the game at five runs apiece after five complete innings.
Kristin Schacherl and Holly Haas brought in runs in the Shiner sixth inning only to see Mart answer with two runs in the bottom.
The stage was set for the Lady Comanches to score some runs and put some pressure on Mart.
After Pietsch and Stacy Perez hit singles, Shimek was walked bringing Ramirez to the plate with the bases loaded and one out.
After falling behind 0-2, Ramirez hit an infield ground ball that allowed Pietsch to score on an error.
"I just knew how to put the ball in play and we got the run," Ramirez said.
Shiner added RBIs from Schacherl, Ryah Michalec and Haas in the top of the seventh.
From there Shimek took the circle and retired pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh to preserve the Victory.
Shimek is a perfect at 21-0 and the Lady Comanches improve their record to 29-4.
If the Lady Comanches win Saturday, they earn a trip to the state state tournament at McCombs Field in Austin next week.
Siegel, though, knows it's easier said than done.
"They can't come out Saturday expecting to walk all over them," he said. "I told them to keep their composure and keep battling and keep their intensity and desire to get back to the state tournament."
Class 1A Regional Final Game 1 Shiner 12, Mart 7 Shiner 000 412 5 - 12 16 3 Mart 300 022 0 - 7 11 6 WP: Ashley Shimek (21-0); LP: Lexxi Davenport. Shiner Highlights: Shimek, 7 IP, K, 6 ER, 2-for-4, RBI, RS; Amber Ramirez, 2-for-3, 2 RBI; Kristin Schacherl, 4-for-4, 3 RBI; Ryah Michalec, 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Holly Haas, 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Jordan Pietsch, 2-for-2, RBI; 2 RS; Meagan Chumchal, 1-for-4, RS; Stacy Perez, 2-for-4,RBI, 2 RS; Cassie Stafford, RS. Record: Shiner, 29-4. Shiner leads series 1-0. Game 2: Saturday 5/26 @ 4:00pm