WELCH - Welch got three early runs then turned things over to freshman pitcher Lexie Mercer in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Afton in Blue Division play at the Welch tournament.

“Lexie threw real well down the stretch,” Welch coach Charles Durrence said.

Afton got both of its runs in the first inning on errors then Welch got all three of its runs in the third frame.

After a single by Ashley Carroll, Mercer retired the final 13 batters she faced.

“Every game she gets better and better,” Durrence said. “She's getting a little more velocity on her fast ball. She has a good changeup. If we play defense and hit the ball like we did today, we'll win some ballgames.”

The win over Afton, coupled with a 13-2 win against South Coffeyville earlier Wednesday, bumped the Lady Wildcats' record to 3-6.

In other games Wednesday, it was Afton 11, South Coffeyville 0, and Commerce 10, Ketchum 1.

Today's schedule includes Oklahoma Union vs. Ketchum at 2:30 p.m.; Oklahoma Union vs. Commerce at 4 p.m.; Ketchum vs. Claremore Christian at 5:30 p.m., and Commerce vs. Claremore Christian at 7 p.m.

Friday's slate features Welch facing defending champ Verdigris at 2:30 p.m., followed by Oklahoma Union vs. Claremore Christian at 4 p.m.; Verdigris vs. South Coffeyville at 5:30 p.m., and Verdigris vs. Afton at 7 p.m.

The seventh-place game will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by the consolation finals at 10:30 a.m. The third-place game is slated for noon, and the finals will be at 1:30 p.m.

Shelby Tracy got the first Welch run in the third when she singled and eventually scored on an error.

Mercer singled and Cassie Welch walked Allison Chenoweth delivered a two-run single.

“We manufactured some runs,” Durrence said. “Afton's a really good team. They beat us early on (6-1). It's no excuse, but we'd had a late start. I moved here one week, the next week we were practicing and the next week we were playing ballgames. We are coming along slowly and we're playing good defense.

“The pitching has been good, the hitting is coming around. Hopefully we will get where we need to be by the playoffs