By Tyler Tyre
Tigerette softball made history this weekend, advancing to the Regional Semifinal round of the playoffs for the first time in program history with a 11-1 win over Brownfield in the Quarterfinals.
Slaton gained the lead right away in the game, scoring two runs in the first inning. Lizzie Thomas started the scoring, crossing home on an error by the pitcher and KK McCord scored Kamryn Gibbs on a sac-fly to right field.
Neither team scored in the second inning, before they traded runs in the third, with Sam Gatica hitting a solo home run to take a 3-1 lead. The Tigerettes furthered their lead in the fourth. Thomas hit an RBI single, driving in Alexis Rubio.
From that point on it was all Tigerettes. In the fifth inning Madi Englund drove in Gibbs with an RBI double, Justyne Zapata drove in Englund on a ground out and Zanady Coronado scored on a passed ball to increase Slaton’s lead to six runs.
Head Coach Brandon Langston spoke about what has been so special about this specific group.
“This is a very talented group of girls and we have a lot of depth. Each girl knows they have to show up and work every day or there is someone else wanting to get in the game that can help us win. There are many teams that have a lot of talent and our chemistry has been big, I used Alabama Softball’s motto ‘Mudita’ for us and I feel like the girls show up every game ready and willing to do whatever they can to help their team win. They enjoy being around each other, enjoy the bus rides and team meals that our moms have put together. When you like who you are playing with it makes everything a lot more fun, and those are usually the teams that become really good teams.”
Slaton tacked on four more runs in the sixth, to seal the game. Zapata drove in Gibbs on a RBI ground out and Addi Sackett scored on an RBI single. Boreing an RBI single, driving in Coronado in the process, and Nata Soto sealed the game, scoring on a passed ball to run rule Brownfield.
Top performers for Slaton included Kaylee Franklin who allowed just one run on two hits while striking out four in six innings pitched, Kamryn Gibbs who had two hits, a walk and three runs scored and Justyne Zapata who drove in two runs on the day.
“Kaylee pitched great for us, she was a little nervous the first inning but when Madi snagged the line drive and then doubled up the runner at third it helped Kaylee settle in and then after that she made a lot of pitches,” Langston said. “It was huge for us for her to get back to pitching the way she can, this is her first year pitching as much as she has, so I think being able to use Rubio last week against Kermit and then having a few more days between games has helped her body recover and get rid of some of the soreness. I think that her last batter against Kermit last week on Thursday when she struck out their best hitter to end the game was the turning point for her confidence wise.”
The Tigerettes will next play against Brock. Game one will take place on Friday, May 17 at 7:30 and game two taking place on Saturday at 6:00 PM. If a third game is needed it will be played 30 minutes after the end of game two. All games will be held at Abilene Christian University.
“Brock is a good team, I think we are very similar in what we do. It will be the same thing that we have been talking about since District though. We just need to show up and stay relaxed and have fun and just do what we do,” Langston said.
“We are pretty good when we do that and a lot of times we have struggled, we have been overthinking stuff or trying to do too much. It should be a great competitive series, but I like our chances if we just stay relaxed and go play.”