At other times, the Lady Seminoles’ crafty right-hander baffled herself.
Roberts recorded 12 strikeouts, but surrendered nine hits, walked three and hit two Lady Falcons in Smithville’s 10-6 victory in the first game of a best-of-three Class 1A state quarterfinals fastpitch softball series.
“It’s mental,” said the junior. “I’ve been working on the mental part more this year. I also work on my regular pitching, the physical part.”
Roberts fanned three Lady Falcons in the first inning, but struggled in the second and third, giving up five runs on six hits. She also hit the two batters during that time.
“We’ve been preparing for her for two weeks,” Ingomar coach Kevin Williams said. “We’ve been focusing on being able to hit her. I’m proud of the way we put the ball in play.”
Roberts rallied by striking out the side in the fourth and fanning two more in the fifth. In the final two innings she had three strikeouts and gave up two singles.
“I’m confident out there with my defense,” Roberts said. “We weren’t focused today, but we seem to that all the time when we travel.”
Luckily for Smithville (23-5), the series goes to its home field for games two and three, if necessary, Saturday. The first game is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Ingomar (11-17) countered on the mound with ninth grade right-hander Allisa Patterson, who gave up five hits and struck out six in five innings. She also struggled at times with her control, walking five and hitting five batters.
The Lady Falcons also hurt themselves with two errors.
“She threw strikes and worked it inside and out; she kept us off-balance,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said of Patterson. “I don’t think we played well or hit well.
“Give Ingomar credit, they’re young and aggressive.”
Chandler Gates worked two innings of relief – fourth and fifth – for Ingomar, before being replaced by Patterson in the sixth.
“We wanted to throw them off-balance,” Williams said of the pitching change. “We brought (Patterson) back in to face the top of their lineup in the seventh.”
Roberts, whose batting average is in the .600s, was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. Meagan Whitehead added an RBI double.
Patterson, Amy Fooshee and Gates had doubles for Ingomar. Patterson led the way with three hits while Fooshee had two.