MIDLAND — Forsan Head Softball Coach Shanna Taylor was happy to get away with an 11-3 win last night against the Crane Ladybirds in the opening round of District 3-2A play.
Despite the lopsided score, Forsan gave Crane several opportunities to snatch the victory from their hands, but when the situation appeared to be turning dire, the Lady Buffs' offense came alive and timely hitting saved the season.
It started off smooth enough for Forsan as they plated three runs in the top of the first on three straight singles by Ali Knight, Shelby Roemer and Kayla Tilley, a wild pitch by Crane's hurler and a Stevie Wilson single.
The scoreboard was frozen until the bottom of the fourth when the Ladybirds scored two runs — partly as a result of three Forsan errors — which cut the Lady Buffs' lead to only one run.
Answering back, however, were Tilley, Roemer and Ashley Buzbee who eached picked up singles in the top of the fifth. Ashley Buzbee stole third base then Wilson ripped a grounder up the center to score Buzbee.
Gabby Womack followed suit with a single and Brittney Cline flew out to center but picked up a two-run RBI as Wilson and Womack were driven in.
Just like that, it was an 8-2 ball game.
Crane added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning as a result of a throwing error charged to Forsan, but that would be the last Ladybird to safely cross home plate.
The Lady Buffs tacked on some insurance runs in their last at bat in the top of the seventh.
Roemer led things off with a stand-up triple then Tilley singled her home. Wilson connected and was tagged out trying to turn a double into a triple but it was enough to get Tilley in for another run.
With two outs, Womack belted a solo home run over the center field wall to give Forsan an 11-3 lead before the third out was recorded on an infield pop-up.
The Lady Buffs shut the Ladybirds down in the bottom of the seventh to win the bi-district trophy.
Roemer, who went 4-4 at the plate, was happy she could make such a contribution when it was needed.
“It was good. I treated it like our life was on the line and I did what I had to for the team,” Roemer said.
As for Taylor, she said her frustration from the early innings subsided when her offense finally started clicking.
“I'm going to take the win, but we have a lot to work on,” Taylor said. “If we play again like we played tonight, I don't see us advancing. We have to start hitting the ball sooner and we have to work on fielding. I knew we could do it we just have to stay focused. It's do-or-die from here on out.”
Though not finalized yet, Forsan could be meeting Littlefield in the second round. Times and dates are to be determined, though it is possible that the game will be played in Seminole next weekend.