A five-run fifth inning propelled Midlothian Heritage by Venus on the softball field Friday night and right into the thick of the playoff race.
Zoe Isom picked up her fourth win of the season inside the circle after she allowed four earned runs on six hits and eight walks. She also struck out five Lady Bulldogs over her seven innings of work.
Heritage jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning after Isom retired the Venus side in order.
Rachel Richard (2-3, 3R) was hit by a pitch to start the three-run Jaguar rally. She scored two batters later after an Isom double to left field and a Lady Bulldog error on a Jordan Freas (0-2, 2 RBI. 2R) flyball to right field.
Freas scored two pitches after the Venus miscue when Dani Knigge (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2R) laid down a sacrifice bunt for a 3-0 Heritage lead.
Isom then hit a little snag in the second and third innings, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks. She recovered to face 16 batters over the final four innings — four over the minimum — and allowed just two hits.
The Heritage bats exploded in the fifth inning to reclaim the lead and then some.
Three straight singles by Jo Lenzer, Richard and Isom, followed by another Lady Bulldog error on a ball put into play by Freas and a Knigge double plated three runs. Freas later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Elizabeth Schmidt, and Korie Jones (2-4, 2 RBI) brought home Knigge with a single to right field.
Four more singles in the bottom of the sixth inning — Richard, Knigge, Schmidt, and Jones — resulted in three more Jaguar runs and an 11-4 Heritage advantage.
The win moved Heritage to 4-8 on the season and, more importantly, 3-3 in District 8-4A. The Jaguars currently sit in the fourth and final district playoff spot and one game clear of Venus as they head into the second half of district action.
The Jaguars return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Alvarado. The Lady Indians defeated Heritage 8-0 in their first meeting this season.