Ranci Willis had tiptoed around the minefield that is Prosper’s lineup all night on Wednesday.
But after issuing a leadoff walk to start the seventh inning of a scoreless game, Willis suddenly found herself up against Elizabeth Moffitt — who ended the regular season No. 2 in all of Dallas-Fort Worth in home runs with 12.
Willis carefully pitched to Moffitt, who laced a pitch into center field that fell for a single. But the ball got by Guyer’s center fielder, allowing the runner from first to come across to break the scoreless deadlock.
T7: Prosper finally breaks the scoreless deadlock in the seventh on this fly ball to center by Elizabeth Moffitt.— Reece Waddell (@ReeceWaddell15) May 13, 2021
It will go down as a single with a one-base error by Guyer’s center fielder, as the ball got by her to score the run.
Prosper leads 1-0. #txhssoftball pic.twitter.com/PchG2Gg1na
“You’ve got a kid [Moffitt] that is leading the area in home runs,” Guyer coach Keith Medford said. “So, you have to play her deep. She just kind of dropped one in front of the center fielder. It happens.”
The Lady Eagles added two more runs in the frame on a two-run triple, and that was all the offense they needed, as Prosper escaped with a 3-1 victory in Game 1 of the Class 6A Region I quarterfinal.
Prosper’s powerful lineup boasts three of the top home run hitters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition to Moffitt, the Lady Eagles feature Maryland commit Sydney Lewis and Mississippi State pledge Gabby Coffey.
And, despite their offensive prowess, Willis still managed to limit Prosper to just three hits while striking out 12. But Willis was forced to wiggle out of several jams, as the Lady Eagles put multiple runners on in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings before finally breaking through in the seventh.
“That lineup is very difficult to deal with,” Medford said. “Whenever you get in those jams a few times, the chances are that they’re going to squeak one out on you if you keep doing that. And again, it’s a tough lineup to deal with. If you keep doing that, chances are it’s probably going to be a bad result.
“[Willis] has kept us in games all year. It was no different tonight.”
Guyer did not manage a hit until the seventh inning when the Lady Wildcats attempted to start a last-minute rally. After Alli Stidham and Kate Moala led off the frame with back-to-back singles, Tehya Pitts drove in Guyer’s lone run of the game on an RBI single into center.
But that was as close as the Lady Wildcats came, as the Lady Eagles slammed the door on Guyer’s comeback bid.
The series shifts to Prosper for Game 2 on Thursday night, with first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. in what has now become a do-or-die game for Guyer.
“We want believers on the bus tomorrow,” Medford said. “I’ve been in this situation as a coach several times, and I’ve come out on the winning side of it several times. That’s the expectation. The expectation is for us to come out tomorrow, play our tails off, compete, and whatever happens, happens.”