Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
Even her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she ate between the doubleheader games didn't taste good. Nothing fit. Nothing was in sync. Nothing felt right or even tasted right.
Then Ahearn found the cure.
Simple enough: Just go out and blast a three-run homer.
That's the short version of what happened Tuesday at Navarro College, where Ahearn's three-run bomb ignited the Bulldogs in the second game against Kilgore and Navarro went on to win 8-5 to close out its regular season with a bang and a smile from Ahearn.
“I was really mad,'' said Ahearn, who was upset after she made the final out in Game 1 — a 5-4 loss to Kilgore in which Navarro had runners at second and third with two outs when Ahearn hit a sharp grounder to second for the final out .
“As soon as I hit that ball (to second) I wanted it back,'' she said. “When I was eating my sandwich between games I was ticked. I was still kind of heated when I was eating.''
No one at Navarro took the loss well, The Bulldogs just don't lose much. They wrapped up the regular season by running away with the Region XIV East Zone title with a 17-3 record and left the field with some momentum going into the Region Tournament at Lufkin May 1-4.
The Bulldogs erupted for eight runs in the first two innings of the second game and coasted to the win, thanks to Ahearn's homer in the bottom of the first. Trailing 1-0, she got hold of a 3-2 pitch and sent it over the left field fence, bringing in Mo Miller and Jade Havard.
“We didn't want to lose our last game. We didn't want to get swept at home,'' said Ahearn, who has hit eight homers this season. She said Tuesday's was one of the best, next to a grand slam she hit against Trinity Valley.
It seemed to lift the Bulldogs.
“It picked us up,'' Navarro Coach Jessica Karenke said. “She's been hitting the ball hard. It's great to finish the season off with a win at home. We've had a great year, but right now it doesn't mean anything. It's a whole new season. We're excited. We've got a week to rest and regroup.''
The Bulldogs scored five runs in the second inning. Eden Favela reached on an error and Kristin Lopez doubled her to third before a sacrifice fly from Daniele Jetton brought Favela home. Destiny Kennedy, who had three hits and drove inn three runs in the opening game, singled and Miller walked to load the bases. Havard singled n a run and Ahearn hit a grounder past Kilgore's second baseman and two runs came flying home (i.e. Miller flying in from second base). Alysa Dotson brought in the fifth run of the inning with a grounder to second.
Karenke used four pitchers in the second game, including starter Camrie Helm, who went three innings and gave up two runs on five hits while striking out five. Britney Bledsoe pitched two perfect innings and Olivia Farmer pitched well but had some tough luck. She struck out three in the sixth and would have been out of the inning without allowing a run when it appeared that left fielder Kennedy had thrown out the third out of the inning at the plate. But the umpire ruled the runner was safe and a second run scored after a dropped third strike kept the inning alive.
Ciera Luna, who started and gave up only three earned runs while taking the loss in the opener, finished up for Navarro in the second game.
Ahearn said it was time to get back to Navarro softball and felt confident going into the tournament.
“We just didn't come out and play our game (in the 5-4 loss). We need to focus going into the region tournament,'' Ahearn said. “We just need to get back to playing our game.''
She left the field smiling with no trace of the PB&J sandwich or the anger of losing the first game.
Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
GC Football: Two-a-days: Back to Action
When the sun comes up Monday morning it's not just the dawn of a new day, but the dawn of a new season — it's the beginning of two-a-days.
Eight of the nine schools in the Golden Circle will begin football practice Monday while Corsicana waits until Aug. 8 to start. The Tigers begin a week later because they held spring practice.
For last year's playoff teams such as Mildred, Blooming Grove, Kerens, Frost and Hubbard Monday begins a road back to the postseason and for everyone else its the start of a new march. For everyone, it's the most optimistic day of the year.
Morgan: ESPN was wrong in suspending Smith
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GC Volleyball Summer Tour:The tradition is back at Kerens
Breanna Baxter is back.
That's bad news for anyone facing the Kerens volleyball team this year.
But there is so much more than Baxter, an all-state player in volleyball, basketball and track & field who was the Golden Circle Female Athlete of the Year in 2014.
TTBBA: Mildred 14U repeats as state champs
The Mildred Eagles completed their season by winning back to back 14U TTBA state titles. The Eagles went 18-0 and captured the title in Hillsboro, where they won five games.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Dawson eyes playoffs
Nothing feels the same at Dawson.
It's not only a new season in a new district but second-year Coach Alica Sexton enters the year after having a full season with her kids — a season that revamped the program at Dawson, where they hadn't won in years.
Navarro Football: Nothing changes for success-minded Bulldogs
It didn't take long for Navarro football Coach Brian Mayper to deliver his preseason message at the SWJCFC Media Day Thursday.
“No surprises at Navarro,'' said Mayper, the first of the seven conference coaches to speak to the media. “We're running the same stuff. You guys know we're going to run the ball. And thank God, we're not changes defenses again this year.''
Mayper's real message is that life at Navarro is all about winning, and all about a culture that expects to win.
“We expect to win them all. If you don't, you're in the wrong business,'' Mayper said. “I think our kids expect it, too.''
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Frost set for a big season
Everybody's back at Frost.
“This will probably never happen again,'' said Frost volleyball Coach Elaine Woods, who returns every player from last year's team.
They are not only back, but they are talented — arguably the most talented group of volleyball players in Frost history.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament
The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.
Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet
There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.
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