From Gary Stallard/ AC Athletics
Mark Mattson faced a dilemma heading into Monday’s road doubleheader at Alvin. With his No. 19 Lady Roadrunners looking at back-to-back doubleheaders on Monday and Tuesday, Mattson gambled on a pitching rotation change.
Instead of using his two main pitchers – Shelby Mixon and McKenna Fryar – against Alvin on Monday, he chose to use Kaylee Ancelot and Kacy Capps. The strategy worked to near-perfection, with Ancelot tossing 13 consecutive scoreless innings and Capps providing a save. That left Mixon and Fryar fresh for Tuesday’s key conference matchup with Navarro College, and the circle duo paid dividends in AC’s 5-3, 5-3 sweep of the Lady Bulldogs Wednesday at the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex in Lufkin. AC battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the opener, tying the game in the third inning on RBIs from Riley Garrett and Rachel Agnello.
Navarro reclaimed the lead in the sixth on a pinchhit double from former Central Lady Bulldog Carmen Acosta, but the Lady ‘Runners answered with a three-run sixth inning behind RBI singles from Ancelot and Brette Kohring and a sacrifice fly from Garrett.
Ancelot launched a two-run homer in the first inning to stake AC to a 2-0 lead in the nightcap. Agnello drove in a run in the second, and Emilee Cernosek doubled home a run in the third –she would later score on an error – to put the Lady Roadrunners on top 5-0. A two-run homer from Navarro’s Jenna Rude and a solo homer from teammate Sarah Koeppen trimmed AC’s lead to two runs at 5-3, but Fryar settled in afterward, allowing no more than a bunt single from another former Central High School player, Jarynn Sprinkle, before closing out her complete-game win.