Trying to repeat as state champions, Aledo survived a dogfight with White Settlement Brewer with a 6-3 victory Friday in a Class 5A area-round playoff game at Saginaw Chisholm Trail High School.
The Bearcats (16-0) advance to take on Burleson (14-11) in a Region I quarterfinal at 8 p.m. Thursday at L.D. Bell.
“We had some nerves going in,” Aledo coach Jeff Lemons said. “We haven’t faced an elimination game since the state tournament, never faced one in the playoffs last year — never really faced one the year before. This was new for us, but I told them test No. 1 — aced, here we go.”
Ashton Adkins added some insurance for Aledo with her two-run double with one out in the top of the seventh. Winning pitcher Lauren Craine (15-0) allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh, but held on. She gave up six hits, two earned runs, and struck out three.
“Definitely the toughest opponent we’ve had in a while,” Craine said. “We’ve played with them before. I’ve played with some of those girls. They know how I pitch, I know how they hit, so I was nervous — but it was a good game for sure.”
Aledo struck early with an RBI double from Rhylie Makawe in the first inning, and Riley Sartain drove in Makawe in the third. Sartain also scored in the inning to put Aledo up 3-0.
The Bears’ Danelle Day cut the deficit to 3-1 after her sixth home run of the season cleared the left-field wall in the bottom of the third, and Brewer’s Destiny Chavarria added an RBI single in the fifth. Bears pitcher Bailey Turner (12-4) allowed two earned on seven hits and struck out three.
“Bailey is awesome. I knew going in that they were a good-hitting team,” Craine said. “Early on I was struggling to find my pitches, but later on I was trusting my pitches and trusting my defense.”