NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Susan Welborn cracked another home run, this time a three-run shot, to give Birdville a 6-3 victory over Trophy Club Nelson in Game 1 of a Class 4A regional quarterfinal series at Birdville High School on Friday.
Birdville will try to advance to the regional semifinals when the series shifts to Nelson for Game 2 at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“Things are just kind of starting to come together, I guess,” Welborn said. “I work on my hitting every day and I feel like we’re getting better and better every game.”
A Welborn homer helped the Hawks (25-10) advance out of the area round last week against Joshua.
What Birdville didn’t expect was the added pressure of dealing with an unknown pitcher. Bobcats ace Ashley Dumoulin was scratched from her start with shoulder problems just minutes before the first pitch.
Freshman Izzy Milligan threw well, but Nelson (28-9) committed five errors.
After drawing a walk in the fourth inning, Welborn hit a home run far over the left-field fence, giving the Hawks a 6-1 lead.
“That was a monster shot,” Birdville coach John Love said. “That really got us going, and when you get into a situation like we had tonight with their starting pitcher not in the circle, it’s on our lineup to really figure out something they haven’t seen before.”
Milligan gave up six runs, four earned, and seven hits to fall to 2-1.
She didn’t get enough offense late to bail her and the defense out.
“When you have five errors, you’re not going to win many playoff games,” Nelson coach Kathy Schoettle said.
“I thought Izzy pitched great considering what she was thrown into. We have to be better for her on defense and not make those mistakes.”
Welborn (21-8) gave up three runs and three hits, but had seven walks.
Schoettle said Dumoulin, who has fought off shoulder problems all season and tried to warm up Friday, might be available Saturday.
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