Jessica Adams and the Bryan Lady Viking softball team are quick learners. They let one slip away the first time they played the Bridgeland Lady Bears but held on for an important 5-3 victory Tuesday night at Lady Viking Field in District 14-6A action.
Adams set the tone with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning, then came up big in the circle several times as the Lady Vikings (21-8, 10-1) atoned for their lone district loss, keeping pace with league-leading Cypress Ranch (15-3, 11-1) and preventing Bridgeland (14-6, 9-3) from moving into second place.
The Lady Bears won the first meeting by tying the game at 2 in the bottom of the sixth, eventually taking a 3-2 walk-off victory in nine innings. The sixth inning again was kind to Bridgeland as Jaelyn Simmons hit a two-run home run with no outs to cut Bryan’s lead to 4-3. Kayee Gibson opened the inning by smashing a double down the left-field line.
Adams (16-5) stifled Bridgeland’s rally by not allowing another ball out of the field.
“I just kept my cool,” Adams said. “That didn’t really bother me much, because it happens.”
What Adams did best was throw strikes. The right-hander was touched for nine hits, but five of them were of the infield variety. She struck out eight with no walks. In the first meeting, two of the runners who scored for Bridgeland reached via a walk to lead off innings.
“Jess, and really all our pitchers, have done a good job this year of not walking a lot of people,” Bryan coach Enrique Luna said. “We’re at maybe 36 for the year, and that’s a pretty darn good job. We talk about that all the time, make them earn it.”
Adams had a trio of three-ball counts, all in the fifth, ironically her only inning to retire the side in order.
“I was just hitting the corners, with curve, screwball, change-up ... anything that was working tonight,” Adams said.
She made quick order of the bottom of Bridgeland’s lineup with seven of her strikeouts coming against the bottom three spots, who were 1 for 9 with the hit a swinging bunt.
Bryan scored a run in each of the first four innings starting with Adams’ 12th homer of the season, setting a school record. Brittney Jones hit 11 in 2013. Adams just missed a double down the line on an earlier swing before lining the eighth pitch of the at-bat over the fence in left-center field.
“We had to start off with energy,” said Adams, who was 0 for 4 in the first meeting with Bridgeland. “We had more energy than them, and that’s what really set it up.”
Luna said it was the fourth or fifth time Adams hit a leadoff homer this season and getting the school record just made it sweeter.
“That’s a tribute to her. She’s a great hitter,” Luna said. “We put her there at leadoff for a purpose. You can’t pitch around her.”
Jade Chavarria’s sacrifice fly gave Bryan a 2-0 lead. Micah Ruiz had a one-out single and took second on an error. Ruiz reached third on a wild pitch during four straight balls to Adams that weren’t close to the plate.
Bryan made Bridgeland’s Makenzi Jenkins pay for hitting back-to-back batters with pitches in the third with two outs with Kylie Hernandez’s RBI double, offsetting the run Bridgeland scored in the top of the inning. Doubles by Bryan’s Chavarria and Brenda Sanchez in the fourth gave Bryan a 4-1 lead. Bryan added an insurance run in the sixth thanks to two walks, a wild pitch and Bridgeland’s third error. Bryan, meanwhile, was flawless on defense behind Adams.
Bryan 5, Bridgeland 3
Bridgeland 001 002 0 — 3 9 3
Bryan 111 101 x — 5 5 0
Makenzi Jenkins and Acie Prince; Jessica Adams and Brenda Sanchez.
W — Adams 16-5. L — Jenkins 7-4.
HR — Jessica Adams, Bryan (12); Jaelyn Si... Click here to read full article