BROCK — A day after winning Game 1 of its regional final series with Azle on a dramatic, extra-inning walk-off home run, Aledo wasted little time Saturday in finishing the sweep.
In Game 2, Aledo (21-1) scored five times before Azle (31-6) came to bat, punching its ticket back to the state tournament with an 8-3 victory at Brock High School.
The Lady Cats sent seven batters to the plate in the top of the first inning before Azle recorded an out.
Four hits, two walks and an error later, Aledo had a 5-0 lead. Cleanup hitter Chickie Cook then tacked on a three-run home run in the fourth to finish off the Hornets.
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“Nothing surprises me at this point,” said Aledo coach Jeff Lemons, who will lead the defending state 4A champions into the 5A tournament next weekend in Austin.
“The last time we were in a big, big situation like this was at Austin last year,” Lemons said. “Both games, we jumped out and scored a bunch of runs in the first inning. That takes a lot of pressure off everyone.
“When you give your pitcher a five-run lead in the first, all she has to do is throw strikes. And, with that defense behind you, you’ve got people flying all around, making plays. That’s all you need.”
The top of the Aledo lineup led the charge, combining for 10 of the team’s 12 hits and driving in six runs.
The first two hitters in the lineup, shortstop Allie Arneson and second baseman Rhylie Makawe, had three hits each and scored four times.
Azle looked like it might respond quickly to the early deficit when Bailee Carter and Sarah Brown both hit solo home runs in the bottom of the first.
But Aledo starter Lauren Craine (20-1) allowed just four hits the rest of the way.
“We are excited to go back [to state],” Cook said. “We’re ready to make history and win it all again.”