BELTON — The best season in school history will end with the Ector Lady Eagles playing for a title.
A four-run fourth inning turned out to be the difference and Destiny Whitburn scattered three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts as the Lady Eagles defeated Borden County, 5-1, in a Class 1A state semifinal at Mary Hardin-Baylor on Friday afternoon.
Ector (10-12) will play defending champ Slocum (18-3), which beat D’Hanis, 3-0, in the other semifinal, for the state championship at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin.
Down by a run going to the fourth inning, Ector, which is at state for the first time, took advantage of three errors by Borden County (25-5). Stormy Shockley reached on the first mistake before Hannah Easley singled to right. Kaylee Nelson was safe on a miscue on a sacrifice bunt, allowing both runners to score.
Mary Salazar followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. Whitburn reached on an error before Sunnie Bingham’s RBI single to right ended the outburst.
Ector tacked on a run in the seventh when Montana Johnson singled up the middle to plate Bingham, who was 2-for-4 including her single to lead off the inning, with one out.
Rayme Jones gave Borden County a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the first inning. But the Lady Coyotes didn’t do much else against Whitburn, who retired the final nine batters she faced after a leadoff error put a runner at second to open the fifth.
Borden County had a single and walk with one out in the fourth but stranded both.
Ector had a chance to get on the board immediately in the top of the first when the Lady Eagles loaded the bases with two outs. Bailey Collins tripled to center before Johnson and Shockley walked but the rally ended there.