GIDDINGS - Shiner coach Brandon Siegel should be used to this by now.
The Lady Comanches, as they have done for much of this season, used a late-inning rally to pull out a win Friday night. Shiner pushed across three runs in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and take a 5-2 victory over the Thorndale Lady Dogs in Game 1 of their best-of- three Class 1A regional semifinal series.
"They've been doing this all year long and I just about have a heart attack every time," said Siegel, who will bring the Lady Comanches (19-4) back to the Giddings High School softball field today for Game 2, which begins at 2 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.
After the Lady Dogs (13-5) tied the game 2-2 with an unearned run in the fourth inning, Shiner finally got to pitcher Angel Bigan, who had retired seven straight batters, in the decisive sixth.
Maci Schaefer reached base when her grounder was misplayed by third baseman Danielle Hernandez. Shiner pitcher Heather Haas then laid down a bunt and beat Bigan's throw to first. Courtesy runner Lauren Michalec and Haas advanced on a passed ball and Michalec scored on the go-ahead run on Megan Cejka's one-out fielder's choice groundout.
Ieisha Flowers then followed with liner to right field that rolled all the way to fence. Haas easily scored and Flowers raced around the bases and beat catcher Kim Barrios' tag at the plate for an inside-the-park home run to pad the Lady Comanches' lead to 5-2.
"She (Bigan) was getting us early in the game on outside pitches and we were lunging at them," said Flowers, who was 2-for-3 and also had an RBI triple in the second inning. "We knew the offense would get going."
"It took us one time around against her to get our bats going," said Haas, who improved to 16-3. "We knew we would pull through. We've been pulling through all year."
Shiner put together a two-out, two-run rally in the second inning to go up 2-0.
Cejka drew a walk and scored on Flowers' triple to make it 1-0. Hajek singled off Hernandez's glove to score Flowers.
Shiner defensive miscues allowed Thorndale to tie the game at 2-2.
In the third inning, center fielder Flowers and second baseman Cejka collided on a pop- up by Bigan. Cejka dropped the ball as fell to the ground, allowing Patricia Hinistroza to score. Thorndale tied the game in the fourth when an errant pickoff throw by catcher Schaefer got past first baseman Hajek and right fielder Morgan Ullman. Kristina Millner raced all around the bases to score.
But it was just a setup for a familiar Shiner comeback scenario.
"It's always good to win Game 1," Siegel said. "I have a lot of confidence in these girls."
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL - MAY 19, 2006 - GAME 1 OF 2 SCORE: F Thorndale 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 -- 2 Shiner 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 -- 5 HIGHLIGHTS: Class 1A Regional semifinals Game 1 WP: Heather Haas (16-3). LP: Angel Bigan. Highlights: (S) Ieisha Flowers 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, triple, inside-the-park HR, 2 runs; Taylor Hajek 1-for-3, RBI single; Amber Shimek 1-for-2; Heather Haas 1-for-2, run. Records: Thorndale 13-5, Shiner 19-4. Note: Shiner leads series 1-0.