By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigerette softball team has several ups and downs this past week, but overall rounded it out with a fifth place finish in the San Angelo Tournament.
The team first traveled to Midland Feb. 25 to play Midland Lee, winning 13-6.
Head Coach Brandon Langston was happy with the overall results. “We started off a little hesitant facing a 6A team,” he said.
Kaylee Franklin pitched a complete game while Kamryn Gibbs had a homerun, triple, double and six RBIs. Englund had two homeruns and three singles with five RBIs.
During the San Angelo Tournament, they split their games evenly with three wins, three losses.
They lost to Lamesa 10-1 then Bushland 4-2 on Thursday (Feb. 27).
Langston felt that travel had an impact. “Our girls are not used to traveling that far and getting off a bus to play and it showed against Lamesa as we did not have very good energy,” he said. “We bounced back and played decent against Bushland and had some opportunities to win that game that we just did not take advantage of.”
That said, they rebounded on Friday (Feb. 28). “We got off the bus a lot better prepared and beat Big Spring 12-8, we then beat El Paso Franklin that afternoon 7-1,” said Langston. “In both games we just played solid and made the routine plays and our girls did a good job of putting the ball in play and putting the pressure on the defense.”
They spent the night however and on Saturday, they played in the championship bracket, facing San Angelo Central, a 6A team.
The game had positive and negative notes, said Langston. “We came out a little flat and nervous as we were down 8-1 after two innings. I was proud of our girls cause we responded well and ended up losing 10-1 and played much better over the last three innings of the game,” he said.
The team went on to defeat Seminole 8-1 to finish in fifth.
Langston said they learned there were some things they could do better, but he was also pleased with some improvements. “We played a lot of tough teams in San Angelo and had multiple players that were not at 100 percent,” he said.
“Nata Soto, Nana Anzley, Erica Brooks, Xochitl Morales and Makayla Cisneros all stepped up and help give some of our normal starters some rest and did some good things for us, getting those girls some reps and having that kind of depth when we had some, nursing pains is exciting for the future, out depth is a big strength for us.”
While the contest did not have an all tournament team, Langston complimented several of the players’ flexibility in different spots on the field.
“Justyne Zapata has played well for us this year, she’s contributed a lot pitching, defensively at second base as well as hitting,” he said.
“Nata played well, she had to step in and catch a lot more this weekend and did a good job behind the plate. Our defense has the potential to be really good this year and we showed glimpses of it being pretty special at times this weekend as well.”
They also had a few surprises – off the field. “The girls got surprised by a former coach, Coach (Randy) Tankersley. They were excited when he showed up to our game Friday afternoon and then again Saturday. Our senior group of kids were pretty close with Coach Tank and so it was fun for them to get to see him,” added Langston.
The Tigerettes played Seminole again Tuesday evening (March 3).
The girls will then play at the Brownfield/Seminole Tournament. Langston said the schedule for the team has changed due to another team’s cancellation, but should have a new bracket before the tournament. More information can be found on the SISD Facebook page. District starts next Tuesday against Abernathy at home. Results of all games will be in upcoming editions.