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Softball bests Childress, to start playoffs Thursday

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

District is over – and the Slaton softball team may have finished in second place – but now in playoffs everyone is 0-0.

The Tigerettes finished out their District contests strong, defeating the Childress Lady Cats 19-14 in their last game of the regular season.

The team finished 9-3 in District, putting them in a solid second place behind Idalou.

Head Coach Brandon Langston said he already knew the team was going to be in the second place seed, so he wanted to use this game as a way to prepare the players for a stretch where the Tigerettes lose, they are done for the season.

“We knew we were going to get all three of our pitchers some game work in and get some girls reps at different positions as well as give a girl some rest from a nagging injury she has dealt with all year,” he said.

That said, the game started off slow, with the Tigerettes giving up five unearned runs in the first two innings, going into the third 5-1.

From there, Langston said it was a back and forth fight for the win.

“In the third we came up and scored four to tie it up, then scored five in the top of the fourth, gave up four in the bottom of the fourth, then scored four in the fifth,” he said.

“(Then we) gave up two in the bottom of the fifth to make it 14-11, then we scored four in the sixth, one in the seventh and then gave up three in the bottom of the seventh to win 19-14.”

 Even in the wild game, Langston said there were several strong.

Adrianna Zapata-Martinez pitched three innings giving up five unearned runs on three hits and striking out two.

Zadie Rios pitched two innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and striking out one.

Justyne Zapata came in  relief for Rios and pitched two innings, giving up three runs on three hits and striking out two.

On the offensive side, Nata Soto went 2-3 with a single, double, two walks, a hit by pitch and five runs.

Madi Englund went 4-5 with three singles, a double, four runs scored and two RBIs.

Sam Gatica was 3-6 with a single, double and a homerun with three runs scored and five RBIs.

Christiana Anzley also had a two RBI double in the third.

Chloe Griffith also had a two RBI double in the fourth.

“Christiana and Chloe both had big doubles that scored two runs each. Sam’s homerun was a big one for her as her bat is warming up at the right time heading into the playoffs,” said Langston.

“Sam also make a couple of good defensive plays, including throwing a runner out at second base as she tried to stretch her hit into a double.”

The game had been moved from Saturday to Monday after both schools had players who were competing in Regional track Friday and Saturday (April 23-24).

He did say it affected the game but at the same time had some benefits.

“I think coming out we were a little rusty defensively and could tell that some of our girls had not hit in a couple of days,” he said. “This time of the year there are always kids who are playing with some nagging aches and pains and so being able to give them a few days off to rest up is always a good thing.

“It also got us a game early this week that we could treat as  a warm up game and get ready to go for Thursday’s game.”

Now, the team will play the Dalhart Wolves in Bi-District. The first game will be today (Thursday, April 29) at 5 p.m. at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo.

Game two will be played at noon Saturday, then if needed, game three will follow after game two.

Langston said they may be playing the third seed in the matchup, but that isn’t an easy win.

“We just need to keep our bats going this week and work on cleaning up some things defensively and making the routine plays,” he said.

A lot of that has to do with preparation.

“We talk a lot about focusing on us and making sure we are doing something to get better everyday. We just need to continue that, need to get a couple of girls healthy and work defensively,” he said.

“We had several mistakes that we need to clean up and take care of as we continue into the playoffs. This is the fun time of the year where you are playing to get the chance to play another game and have another week of practice with your team mates.

“I’m excited to see what we do and hope to keep competing with this group of young ladies for awhile longer and bringing home some hardware.”

Scores will be in next week’s edition

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(Editor’s note: Game time and locations are as of press time Tuesday, April 27. Should there be any changes to the game schedule, The Slatonite will update it online through its Facebook page, Slatonite.)

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