Before Thursday, the Tivy softball team was rolling, having won eight out of its last nine. The Lady Antlers also hadn’t lost once at home this season.
Both facts made what happened in Game 2 of their three-game series against Uvalde all the more surprising. The Lady Antlers imploded in the first two innings and couldn’t recover, falling 10-5 to the Lobos in the second game of their area-round series at home on Thursday. They will have one more opportunity to clinch a berth in the regional quarterfinals when they play Game 3 Saturday in Devine at 5 p.m.
After delivering a masterful defensive performance during their 7-4 win over Uvalde in Game 1, the Lady Antlers committed multiple defensive blunders to begin Thursday’s game. The Lobos scored two runs without even registering a hit. They stretched their lead to 6-0 in the second, and led 9-0 in the third.
To their credit, the Lady Antlers snapped out of the funk, outscoring Uvalde, 5-1, in the final four innings. But it wasn’t enough to overcome their mistakes in the first three frames.
“We weren’t focused,” Tivy coach Jeremy Hickman said. “Something was off with our focus. Too many mental mistakes. Too many throwing errors. (The rain delay) could have gotten us out of our routine. We had to pull the tarp off the field, and we had to do it all ourselves. But the reality is we have to be tougher than a tarp. We have to be tougher than a situation. We have to show up and play, and we didn’t do that. … We weren’t ready to play.”
There’s still plenty of good news for the Lady Antlers: There’s still another game in the series. And if the Lady Antlers can replicate their Game 1 performance and avoid committing the mistakes they made in Game 2, they will have a good opportunity to clinch the series.
“We have to fix some of the issues and go back to work,” Hickman said. “We have to understand that we have won 24 ball games against some good teams. … We have to refocus and understand that the sun is coming up tomorrow.”