By Melissa McCaghren
Tigerette softball had a whirlwind of a Spring Break, winning two District games in two unusual ways.
They defeated the Lady Eagles of Roosevelt 13-3 in a run-ruled game, but then had to go to extra innings to defeat the Abernathy Lady Lopes 10-9.
Head Coach Brandon Langston said both games were strong for the team. “We started off Spring Break beating Roosevelt 13-3 in five innings,” he said. “Everyone in the lineup scored a run or had an RBI for us against Roosevelt as we scored 2, 4, 2, 3, 2 runs in our five innings.”
The game against Abernathy though was a bit more difficult, even if it was a more exciting and eventful game, he admitted.
“We gave up five runs in the first inning to put ourselves in a hole but our girls kept battling and chipping away at the lead,” he said.
“Genesis Ortiz was our top player both offensively and defensively as she caught eight fly balls in left field as well as going 3-5 at the plate with two runs scored and the winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth inning.”
He added they trailed the entire game until the seventh inning, where the Lady Lopes were up 9-6, but the Tigerettes were the last to bat. “We came out in the bottom of the seventh and scored three runs, with back to back RBI doubles by Madi Englund and Sam Gatica and then an RBI from Makayla Cisneros to tie it up at nine (a piece),” he said.
“Adrianna Martinez-Zapata and our defense worked out of a bases loaded zero outs jam in the top of the eighth without allowing a run, Nata Soto got us going with a one out walk, then stole second base and snuck into third on the second baseman dropping the throw down, then Genesis came up and hit a hard ground ball at the second baseman, who was playing up and she mishandled it as Nata came across to win.”
He said the defense was key in getting the opponents out in several bases loaded, zero outs positions the team had been in.
Other factors were getting a few ground balls and a shallow pop up that helped turn the game around.
Playing a bit of “musical positions” has helped as well, Langston said. “Genesis Ortiz has moved from the infield to the outfield this year for us and has played really well defensively out there,” he said. “Our outfield is probably the best defensive outfield we have had in the last six years, we expect every fly ball to be caught as we are lucky to have three centerfield type kids out there.”
And teamwork during the game paid off.
“We talked about that being a situation that ball players want to be in and wanting to be the girl up to bat in that situation and we got energized and everyone went up with a confident demeanor and hit the ball hard in the seventh and eighth innings, it was a whole different team those two innings. We made a few mistakes defensively and base running but we have to work on being more consistent at the plate,” said Langston.
That said, there’s a lot to be worked on in the next few games in District. The Tigerettes played Tuesday evening (March 23) against Tulia in Tulia, and have a bye day Saturday before resuming play March 30 against Childress in Slaton.
“Our biggest thing is just being more consistent overall, from location on pitches to routine plays and having good quality at bats every time up. We need to really focus on us this week and being the energetic confident team we were the last 1-1/2 innings against Abernathy,” he said.
The bye was perfectly timed for the girls as well. “Saturday is prom so it worked out great for us with our bye this Saturday in District so we will give the girls Friday and Saturday off to prepare for that and come back next Monday ready to go,” Langston added.