JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School softball team found a way to defeat Cedar Park Vista Ridge 4-3 in a District 25-4A game March 13.
The Lady Mustangs (15-6 overall, 4-0 district) found themselves only trailing 2-1 after the first inning courtesy of an RBI by senior Skyler Riley.
“After the first inning, it was nerve-wracking, but we pulled through,” Marble Falls head coach Chelsey Heller said. “I think we were down a little, but we scored that run. The girls have been taught to fight back in tournaments where we were down 4-1 and 6-1.”
That score stood until the fifth inning. After a lead-off strikeout, the Lady Mustangs recorded four hits that produced three runs. In all, nine Lady Mustangs batted during the inning that lead to a 4-2 advantage.
“We were laying bunts down and doing what we needed to do to move runners,” Heller said.
Vista Ridge junior pitcher Jorden Russell helped her own cause by starting the sixth inning with a solo home run over the left-field wall. But Marble Falls forced the Lady Rangers to strand two other runners to preserve the one-run lead.
In the top of the seventh, Lady Mustangs Corey Oppenheim, a freshman, and Tyler Oppenheim, a senior, ran down fly balls in foul territory for outs. The game ended when first baseman Riley scooped up a ground ball and tagged the runner for the out.
Tyler Oppenheim, who signed to play for Texas A&M University-Commerce, said she told sophomore pitcher Makenzie Carpenter that she struck out several players and can do it again.
“We got each other’s backs,” she said.
Heller noted the Lady Rangers spent their bye night at Cedar Park High, where they watched Marble Falls beat the Lady Timberwolves.
Meanwhile, the Lady Mustangs played back-to-back games and relied on a pitcher who threw 165 pitches at Cedar Park and at least 150 against Vista Ridge.
“The defense played very well,” the coach said.
Indeed. Centerfielder Kaley Neal dived forward to catch a hit in shallow centerfield for an out. Corey Oppenheim caught several outs after running side to side to get to the ball.
Offensively, Tyler Oppenheim stole all three times she reached base.
“I have the mentality that I’m going to go, and my feet do the rest,” she said with smile. “It was a big win. It feels amazing coming out on top.”
ON OFFENSE: RBIs – Skyler Riley, Makenzie Carpenter, Amanda Thomas, Naomi Macias (2-3 from the plate); stolen bases – T. Oppenheim 3; runs scored – T. Oppenheim 2, Riley, Emilee Beurshausen
ON DEFENSE: Winning pitcher – Carpenter with 3 earned runs off 6 hits and 1 walk and 7 strikeouts; Marble Falls committed 3 errors.
RECORDS: Marble Falls is 15-6 overall and 4-0 in District 25-4A; Vista Ridge is 1-3 in district.
UP NEXT: 7 p.m. March 18, Marble Falls at Leander Rouse, 1501 CR 271 in Leander
DISTRICT 25-4A STANDINGS
Marble Falls 4-0
Leander 4-1 (def. Dripping Springs 2-0 on March 13)
Dripping Springs 3-1
Vista Ridge 1-3
Cedar Park 1-4 (def. Vandegrift 6-0 on March 13)