By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigerette softball team got off to a strong start in their quest to return to the playoffs last week, splitting their games against Idalou and Shallowater.
The team lost a tough game to the Lady Kats 9-3 Tuesday evening (March 9), but came back to defeat the Fillies Saturday (March 13).
Coach Brandon Langston said the team had a rough start to the game against Idalou. “We struggled defensively and hitting against Idalou and allowed five unearned runs and we did not get things started offensively until the fifth inning,” he said.
In the game, Chloe Griffith helped in the scoring with a lead off walk, then Madi Englund followed up with a two RBI double.
During the Shallowater game, Genesis Ortiz got the scoring going going two for two and a walk with two runs scored. Englund was 0-1 with two walks, one with the bases loaded, helping score a run scored.
Then came the big play to win the game. “Jaclyn Loera got the start and got us going in the fifth. We were down 3-1 and she led off the inning with a double,” said Langston.
Sam Gatica went one for two with a three RBI double in the fifth inning and a sac fly for a total of four RBIs.
“We ended up scoring four runs in the fifth to go up 5-3,” said Langston.
“Adrianna Martinez-Zapata pitched seven innings giving up two earned runs. We currently sit at 1-1 in a District after starting off with two of the better teams in the District.”
Now, in spite of it being Spring Break, the teams continue playing this week with games against Roosevelt Tuesday (March 16) there and then Abernathy on Saturday (March 20) at home.
Langston said right now the goal is for the team to build confidence as well as play strong for a shot at one of four playoff spots. This is doubly so after the season was canceled due to COVID last year.
“Our biggest thing is just confidence and realizing how good we can be. We have moved a few players around that aren’t playing the same positions as they have in previous years and some with not a lot of Varsity experience so we have been working on situations a lot more and trying to get them used to thinking and understanding the game a little bit better,” he said. “The girls continue to work hard and we have a great group of kids so I think we just need to continue to focus on today and keep getting better each day.”
They also have to be even more focused with playing as this week is a time when many families go on vacation.
“Playing District games over Spring Break is always tough, but it also kind of lets the kids just focus on softball and not have to worry about the other 8 million things that are normally going on in the spring,” he said.