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MESQUITE – A day after nearly pulling off a large-deficit comeback, the Wells softball team fell to 0-2 during the Virgin Valley Tournament with a third-inning collapse on Friday.

The Lady Leopards built an 8-2 lead over Division 3A Virgin Valley, but Wells gave up 13 runs in a huge top half of the third – the Lady Bulldogs blowing by for a 15-8 victory.

Virgin Valley built a 2-0 lead on consecutive at-bats in the top of the first, Savannah Price driving in Calee Clem with a double to start the scoring.

A Wells error at shortstop allowed Taylor Barnum to cross the second run.

Wells cut the deficit in half with and RBI single by junior Laila Jackson in the bottom half, driving in senior Keegan Laughlin.

Following a strikeout, the Lady Leopards made a two-out rally – plating four runs.

Jackson scored on a passed ball to tie the game, and Wells took a 3-2 lead on an RBI bunt by senior Betty Aboite that brought home senior Samantha Shamblin.

An error at catcher plated Wells’ final two runs of the frame, senior Ady Prado rolling across the dish and Aboite stealing home for a 5-2 lead.

Wells retired the Lady Bulldogs in order in the top of the second, and the Lady Leopards went back to work on the scoreboard in the bottom half.

Laughlin led off with a single and stole second base, also taking third.

A passed ball allowed her to roll home for a 6-2 lead.

Senior Kendra Franco plated a run on an error in center field on a fly ball by senior Lacye Pearson, who gave Wells an 8-2 lead on an error by the catcher after stealing third base.

Unfortunately for Wells, the run served as its final score of the contest – Virgin Valley just getting started.

In the top of the third, Autumn Boatright stole home and cut the lead to five.

Kari Wakefield crossed on a passed ball and an error at shortstop allowed Clem to slice the lead to three at 8-5.

Kylie Cannon reached after a dropped third strike, and an error at pitcher gave Jessica Barnum and Kaysha Heath free runs to the plate – Wells’ lead gashed to one.

Taylor Ostrowski reached on a fielder’s choice, which allowed Cannon to knot the game at 8-all.

Karyme DeSantiago stole home and gave Virgin Valley the lead for good at 9-8, and Ostrowski was driven in by a single from Boatright – the Lady Bulldogs laying down eight runs without recording an out in the top of the third. Virgin Valley took an 11-8 lead on an RBI single by Clem that crossed Jessica Barnum, snagging a 12-8 advantage when Boatright stole home.

The capping blow was provided with a hammer by Taylor Barnum – smashing a three-run crank over the fence in left field – driving in herself, Clem and Price.

The Lady Leopards fell in order in the bottom of the third, the game coming to a close with the two-hour time limit. Wells saw a six-run lead evaporate and gave up a 13-run frame, falling 15-8.

Taylor Barnum drove in a game-high three runs, all three RBIs coming on her home run in the top of third.

Clem went 3-for-3 at the plate for the Lady Bulldogs, driving in a run and scoring a game-high three runs of her own.

Jessica Barnum, Taylor Barnum and Boatright scored two runs apiece for Virgin Valley.

DeSantiago drove in two runs without notching a hit.

Laughlin led Wells with two runs – going 1-for-3 at the plate – notching a third of the team’s hits.

Jackson and Aboite each finished 1-for-2 at the dish with one RBI apiece, Pearson earning Wells’ other RBI without a hit.

VIRGIN VALLEY – 20(13) – 15 9 4

WELLS – 530 – 8 3 4

The Lady Leopards were slated to play Spring Creek at 4 p.m. Friday, but stats were not provided by press deadline.

After defeating Pahranagat Valley 8-7 with a walk-off Thursday night, the Lady Spartans were defeated by Aquinas (California) by a final score of 11-0 on Friday morning.


Sports editor and reporter

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