By Spencer Spilman
The Hays Lady Rebels softball team hosted the Del Valle Lady Cardinals Friday night in a district matchup.
After falling behind early, the Lady Rebels made a late inning rally to claim a 4-2 win.
Hays High pitcher Maxine Valdez pitched a complete game, giving up just two hits in seven innings. Valdez seemed nervous her first few innings, and had trouble finding the strike zone.
She gave up two runs in the third inning after a wild pitch and a passed ball got behind the catcher, which both brought home one run for the Lady Cardinals.
After falling 2-0, the Lady Rebels looked to bring their bats alive as they struggled at the plate.
Del Valle’s Ashley Arrellano, who pitched a complete seven innings for the Lady Cardinals, was in control in the circle for most of the game.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning when the Lady Rebels finally got on the scoreboard following a weird play in the field.
Hays’ Alyssa Martinez scored on the play, pulling Hays within a run at 2-1.
After giving up the two early runs, Valdez got more and more comfortable in the circle as the game went on.
“I guess I was just overthinking the situation,” Valdez said.
After seeing Valdez calm down, the Hays bats came alive in the sixth inning when it mattered most.
Sydney Belvin started things off in the inning with a leadoff single. With one out, Valdez came to the plate looking to help out her own cause, and she did just that.
Valdez hit a long fly ball to left field that hit the wall just inches short of a homerun.
Belvin scored on the double from Valdez to tie the game. The Lady Rebels, however, weren’t done.
Valdez tallied the go-ahead run after a Del Valle error; Lady Rebel catcher Abbie Blackwell knocked in an insurance run on a single.
Hays’ three run sixth inning came at just the right time, as the Lady Rebels held a 4-2 lead going into the seventh frame
With some insurance on her side, Valdez went back to the circle to close it out. The freshman looked more confident than she had all game, and although she gave up one walk, she was able to finish Del Valle to earn her first home win.
Lady Rebel head coach Lisa Cone was happy with the team and her freshman pitcher after the win.
“It was her first home game, so I think she was a little nervous,” said Cone. “I’m very proud of the girls for coming through there in that sixth inning and getting the win.”