By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton softball team split their games last week in their second round of District action.
The Tigerettes lost a tough 10-5 game against the Shallowater Fillies Tuesday evening (April 6) but bounced back against the Roosevelt Lady Eagles 9-7 Saturday (April 10).
The team is currently 6-3 in District and 15-8 on the season.
Head Coach Brandon Langston said the team struggled a bit in their game against Shallowater, adding he felt part of this was because he didn’t “do a very good job” getting them prepared.
“We did not have our typical energy and focus and it showed pretty quickly,” he said. “Justyne Zapata was our top hitter going 3-4 with a double and two RBIs. Samantha Gatica had two hits and two runs and Nana Anzley had two hits as well. Madi Englund hit a solo homerun in the seventh. Adrianna Zapata-Martinez pitched six innings giving up six earned runs with three (strikeouts).”
The game against the Lady Eagles was a bit of a back and forth game before the Tigerettes came out with the “W” however.
“We came out and scratched a few runs early then Roosevelt scored four in the third and two in the fourth to go up 6-4. We responded with three in the fifth, two in the sixth and Roosevelt scored their last run in the seventh,” said Langston.
“Top of our lineup had a solid day with Nata Soto with two hits and a run, Genesis Ortiz had two hits, a run and an RBI, Madi Englund had two hits, a run and RBI, and Samantha Gatica had three hits, two RBIs and two runs. Makayla Cisneros had a big hit as she hit a triple to bring in two runs in the fifth inning.”
Both games – as well as the season, have had strong plays and comebacks, as shown in the past two games.
“Madi Englund and Samantha Gatica have been our most consistent defensive players but we have had some big plays from multiple players,” said Langston.
“Genesis Ortiz has been big in the outfield for us. Nata Soto has been big throwing out runnings on the bases.
“The other day against Roosevelt, Makayla’s two RBI hit was big that tied things up, then Nana Anzley came up and hit a deep sacrifice fly to put us up 7-6 in the fifth. Samantha is coming around with the bat and had a big two RBI single in the sixth that put us up 9-6 and gave us a little cushion in the game.”
These will all come into play as they round out their season. The team played Abernathy Tuesday evening (April 13), then will play Tulia Saturday afternoon (April 17) at home.
The Saturday game is also Parent’s Night for the Seniors.
Langston said the games are important for the seeding in playoffs.
“Abernathy is a really big game for us Tuesday. Always tough to be on the road in this District and Abernathy is a good team that we have had a bunch of close games with over the last few years. If we can show up and do what we do and focus on us I think we will be alright,” he said.
“Getting a win against them would put us in a great spot to clinch a playoff berth and put us in a really good spot for the No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs. If we don’t show up then it will put us in a dog fight with Abernathy, Shallowater and possibly Childress for a playoff spot.”
He’s also a bit concerned about Tulia, who he said appearances can be deceiving in strength.
“Tulia is a scary team as well, we played really well against them, the last two innings against Abernathy last time our bats woke up and it carried over into the next few games. Tulia is a lot better team then our score indicates from last game,” added Langston. “This will be our Senior Night game as well which is always a little emotional and scary going into. Tulia has a solid pitcher and some bats that can put some runs on the board.”
Currently the Tigerettes sit in second place in District, tied with Shallowater. They started off rough earlier in the season with a 2-5 record before going 13-3 since.
Abernathy is currently fourth with a 5-3 record.
Langston said it is a tough District and they’ll have to show up every game to decide their fate for seeding and playoffs in general.