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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Eagles’ playoff hopes ended with 6-4, 4-2 defeats

One-run leads didn't hold up for the Pecos Eagles softball team in a pair of weekend road games, and the Eagles saw their hopes for a bi-district playoff berth ended with a pair of two-run losses to the Fort Stockton Prowlers and Greenwood Rangerettes.

Pecos came back from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead on Fort Stockton on Friday, but the Panthers took advantage of a couple of Eagle mistakes to score three times in the sixth inning to defeat Pecos by a 6-4 final score. On Saturday, the Eagles scored twice in the third inning after Greenwood had taken a 1-0 lead, only to see the Rangerettes get both runs back in their next at-bat, and then add a single run in the sixth inning for a 4-2 victory.

“It was a tough loss, but we're a very young team,” said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls. “When you're playing teams with a lot of seniors on them, it's tough if you make mistakes.

“We had some costly errors on the corners at first and third against Fort Stockton, but we hit the ball well,” Walls said, while against Greenwood, she said, “Our hitting was sporadic towards the end of the lineup, with the exception of Bianca Baeza. She's doing a good job getting on base.”

Baeza singled to open the third inning off Greenwood's Kendall Schneider, after singles by Amanda Dublin and Stephanie Ledbetter in the second inning had given the Rangerettes a 1-0 lead. Baeza was sacrificed to second by Cassandra Terrazas, then beat Schneider's throw to third on an infield bouncer by Savannah Ewing. She then stole second before Jenny Palomino singled through Schneider's legs into centerfield, scoring both runners.

Walls wasn't happy with the umpiring on Saturday, as three calls went against Pecos, though only one may have cost the Eagles. Kim Smith appeared to have left first too early on a steal after reaching on a bloop single to open the bottom of the third inning. Walls lost the argument that Smith should have been called out, and pitcher Amalie Herrera then walked Savannah Neely, and one out later Shannon Richards singled to centerfield to tie the game.

After a sacrifice bunt, Greenwood took the lead when Herrera couldn't glove Daisy Roman's bouncer to the right of the mound. It went for an infield hit and a 3-2 Rangerettes' lead. Herrera then walked Jenny Adkins to load the bases and went to a 3-0 count on Ledbetter, but got out of trouble by picking Adkins off first base to end the inning.

Greenwood would have a couple more scoring chances before finally breaking through in the sixth, on another RBI single by Richards after an infield hit by Paige Crowell and an error by Ewing on a Veronica Carruth grounder to third. Meanwhile, Schneider settled down and allowed just one base runner over her final four innings of work, on a two-out single by Ewing in the fifth inning.

“We pitched around some of their kids, and had enough empty bases to do that,” Walls said. “I thought Amalie's pitching kept their timing off, and we were able to contain them, except for a couple of mistakes. I can't say enough about that.”

Against Fort Stockton, singles by Herrera and Jessica Florez in the first inning gave Pecos a 1-0 lead, but a walk to Lupita Leyva followed by errors by Hillery Hinojos at first and Ewing at third allowed her to score, and Jessica Gonzales to score later on a bunt single by Ruby Bernal.

Fort Stockton made it 3-1 in the third when Gabriela Cordero scored when Flores' throw got past second on a double-steal try by Cordero and Heather Garvin. But in the fourth Danielle Garcia reached on an error by Bernal at shortstop, and Hinojos followed with an RBI double. She would go to third on a single by Baeza, and scored to tie the game on a sacrifice bunt by Terrazas. Baeza then came home to put the Eagles ahead, 4-3, on a bloop infield hit by Ewing.

Pecos kept the lead for two innings, throwing April Singh out trying to score in the fifth. But after Soli Hernandez doubled to open the sixth inning, she scored when Hinojos dropped a throw from Herrera and an Abby Ramirez grounder back to the mound.

Herrera then hit Leyva with a pitch and Gonzales and Bernal followed with RBI singles to give Fort Stockton the lead.

Pecos would get the tying runs on base in the seventh inning, but Singh was able to get out of trouble and picked up her second district win over Pecos, and third overall for Fort Stockton this season.

Greenwood and Fort Stockton both clinched playoff spots with their wins. The Rangerettes are 8-0 in distirct, while the Prowlers improved to 6-2. The Eagles, meanwhile, fell to 4-5 in district going into their final road game of the season, Tuesday in Monahans. The Loboes need a win over the Eagles to stay with Fort Stockton in the battle for second place. They lost last Tuesday to the Prowlers, 3-2, as Fort Stockton rallied in the sixth inning off Raquel Hawkins, and dropped their third game in their last four starts this past Friday, losing a non-district contest to Midland Christian by a 4-0 score.

“I think we can go over there and beat Monahans. We're playing good right now, except for a couple of plays that have hurt us,” Walls said. Monahans defeated Pecos by a 6-1 score in the teams' first district game last month.

Saturday Pecos 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 -- 2 3 2 Greenwood 0 1 2 0 0 1 x -- 4 8 0 Herrera and Florez. Schneider and Carruth. W- Schneider. L - Herrera. E - Pecos, Garcia, Ewing. LOB - Pecos 2, Greenwood 9. S - Pecos, Terrazas. Greenwood , Dublin. SB - Pecos, Ewing. Greenwood, Smith, Roman. HBP - Crowell by Herrera. PB - Florez.

Eagles struggle continues with Stockton loss

The margin of error is all but gone for the Pecos Eagles’ baseball team now, after the Eagles dropped their fourth District 3-3A game in their last five starts on Friday, by a 9-6 score to the Fort Stockton Panthers.

The Eagles, who face Monahans on Tuesday in a 7 p.m. start, were unable to take advantage of their early scoring chances for the second time this season against Fort Stockton pitcher Bry Arcides. But unlike their first meeting on March 17 in Pecos, when the Panthers never could solve Eagles pitcher Eddie Vela, who posted a 6-0 shutout win, Fort Stockton got to pitcher Josh Anchondo for five runs in the third inning, and for two more in the fourth and sixth innings.

“It’s the story of our season. When we have someone on base, we just can’t come up with the key hit,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan, whose team was out-hit by Fort Stockton, 12-6 in the game. “The first two of our six runs scored on a passed ball and a bases-loaded walk, so it wasn’t even because of our offense that we scored.”

The Eagles got a run in the first inning off a two-out passed ball by Octavio Contreras, following one out singles by Isaiah Rayos and Anchondo. But they would strand two runners on base in the inning, two more in the second and a dozen runners overall in the game.

Fort Stockton missed its own early chances to score, as Vela doubled up Julio Pacheco at second base in the first inning on a Sergio Corral line drive, and Anchondo got out of trouble in the second following a pair of infield hits with one away. But in the third the Panthers tied the game with one out when Anchondo walked Contreras with the bases loaded, thanks to a leadoff walk to Bryant Gonzales, a one-out single by Corral and a hit batter.

The Panthers went ahead to stay on Rugby Barragh’s sacrifice fly, and got an extra run when Vela’s throw home got past catcher Chris Garnto. Josh Rodriguez and Billy Bradshaw followed with RBI singles for Fort Stockton, which would score seven of their nine runs in the game with two outs.

That included an RBI double by Contreras in the fourth, after back-to-back throwing errors by Rayos at shortstop to open the inning made it 6-1. The Eagles would then take advantage of Arcides’ control problems to score a run in the fifth, on three walks and a bloop single by Vela. M.J. Salmon came on to pitch with two outs and got Robert Nunez to end the inning, but he would allow an unearned run in the sixth on a pair of singles by Rayos and Anchondo and a throwing error by Barragh.

However, the Panthers would mount a two out rally in the bottom of the sixth and get both of those runs back. A single by Rodriguez would score Salmon and Contreras, after their singled and Barragh walked with two away, giving the Panthers a 9-3 lead going into the seventh.

Once again, the Eagles took advantage of Fort Stockton control problems, as Salmon hit Garnto and Miguel Estrada with one away, and Bradshaw came on to pitch and immediately hit Nunez, and then wild pitched a run home. Pecos then scored two runs on a ground out by Jose Chavez, as the Panthers were unable to turn a game-ending double play. But Bradshaw would then get Rayos to ground back to the mound to end the game. “I know they want to win, but we aren’t doing enough mentally to get it done,” said Payan. “Stockton was up for us, and they wanted to face Josh. They wanted to face our best pitcher, and Josh just had no pop on his fastball.”

“We’re just not going to match teams run for run because we don’t hit that well. We have to rely on our pitching and taking advantage of our opportunities, and we just didn’t take advantage,” he added.

Both the Eagles and Panthers are now 3-4 in district, a game in back of third place Greenwood, which lost to Seminole on Friday by a 19-8 score. Monahans is a game behind Pecos and Fort Stockton, at 2-5, following their loss to first place Presidio on Friday. Anchondo struck out 14 while allowing a pair of Larry Jasso home runs back on March 18, in Pecos’ 6-3 home win over Monahans in district play, while the Eagles and Loboes split a pair of pre-district games, with the Loboes winning by a 12-5 score in the season opener and the Eagles coming back a week later for a 2-1 victory.

Pecos 1 0 0 0 1 1 3 -- 6 6 5 Ft Stockton 0 0 5 2 0 2 x -- 9 12 3 Anchondo and Garnto. Arcides, Salmon (5), Bradshaw (7) and Contreras. W - Arcides. L - Anchondo. E - Pecos, Estrada, I. Rayos 2, Garnto, Vela. Fort Stockton, Corral, Rodriguez, Barragh. PB - Pecos 1. LOB - Pecos 12, Ft. Stockton 7. 2B - Ft. Stockton, Contreras. SB - Pecos, Nunez. CS - Pecos, Myles (by Contreras). HBP - Garnto, Estrada by Salmon, Nunez by Bradshaw. Salmon by Anchondo. WP - Fort Stockton, Bradshaw. PB - Pecos, Garnto 2. Fort Stockton, Contreras.

Track teams pick up two firsts at Crane meet

The Pecos Eagles track teams were short a few people on Saturday, along with a couple of other District 3-3A teams at the Golden Crane Relays, as they prepare for this week's district track meet at Fort Stockton.

Both the boys and girls picked up one gold medal on the day, and finished with 47 and 42 points respectively at the meet, which was won by the host Golden Cranes in both divisions.

Jummy Akinyode won the 400-meter dash for the girls' best finish on the day, finishing with a 1:03.48 time. She also took second in the 200 meter dash, while the other running points for the Eagles came from Kathryn Lamka in the 3200 meter run, and the 1600 meters, finishing fourth.

Chantel Mazone had the Eagles' other medal Saturday, finishing third in the shot put, while Jessica Florez took fourth place. In the discus, Mazone finished fourth and Florez fifth.

Coach Veronica Valenzuela said she still had a couple of people hobbled by injuries, including her other 3200 meter runner, Heather Lamka, while the boys were minus both Rashad Terry in the high jump and sprints, and pole vaulter Andrew Grant, due to injuries.

Pecos still got a fourth place from Ricardo Morales in the high jump and a fifth from Larry Johnson, but had no pole-vaulters at the Crane meet, and coach John Fellows said they would be without a vauluter again on Thursday at the district meet.

In the other field events, Chad Evans picked up his third straight win in the discus, but was beaten out for the first time in a month in the shot put, as Seminole's Bryan Brown won with a 51-foot-7 throw to Evans' 49-foot-6. Evans beat out Brown by seven feet for first in the discus, throwing 151 feet to Brown's 144-foot-2.

In the running events, all of Pecos' points came in two relays, the 400 and 800 meters, with the Eagles taking third in both races. “We didn’t run a mile relay, because we were too banged up,” said Fellows, who ran Johnson, Morales and Pete Juarez in both of the other relays, while Eli Hinojos was the fourth runner in the 400 meters and Justin Hannsz ran the other leg of the 800-meter relay.

Several athletes from both Monahans and Fort Stockton weren't at the meet on Saturday, as they went to the Texas Relays down in Austin, and as a result, the Eagles were able to finish ahead of both teams in the point standings, even with their shorthanded squad.

Seminole had a full squad on hand and placed second to Crane in the final standings, with 113 points, while among the other District 3-3A teams, Monahans had 40 points, Presidio 38 and Fort Stockton 35 points.

Monahans’ girls scored 157 points to place second to Crane on Saturday, while Seminole had 64 points, Presidio 40 and Fort Stockton had six points.

All the district teams will have all of their available people in place on Thursday, when the district meet begins with field events at 11 a.m. Running preliminaries and the 3200 meter finals will be held Thursday afternoon, while the remaining field events and the running finals will take place beginning at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Pecos girls close in on return to golf regionals

The Pecos Eagle girls golf team remained in second place in the District 3-3A golf tournament this past Friday in Midland, and will try to sew up their seventh straight trip to regionals on Tuesday, when the final round of the 54-hole tournament is played at the Pecos County Golf Course in Fort Stockton.

Meanwhile, senior boys’ golfer Michael Nichols was trying to earn his second straight trip to regionals as a medalist and fourth regional trip overall on Monday in Seminole, when the District 3-3A boys tournament wrapped up with the last of its three rounds of play.

The Eagle girls shot a 349 at Hogan Park, 24 strokes behind first place Monahans, which widened its lead over Pecos to 40 shots through the first 36 holes of play. Monahans is at 655 for the tournament while Pecos is at 695, and is 50 strokes up on third place Lamesa, which shot a 360 on Friday and is at 745 for the tournament.

Pecos’ Shelly Martinez shot a 76 on the day, after an opening round of 78 10 days earlier at the Reeves County Golf Course. Her 154 score left her five shots in back of leader Allison Jordan of Monahans, who broke a tie for first with Martinez with a round of 71 and is at 149 overall. Martinez is seven shots up on third place Amanda Stuessy of Monahans, who shot a 79 and is at 161 for the tournament.

The Eagles’ No. 2 and 3 golfers also remain the Top 10 in the medalist race. Elenaor Mason shot an 85 on Friday after an opening round of 86, while Jennie Canon had an 86 after opening with an 85, leaving both with 36-hole totals of 171. But Pecos lost ground to Monahans as their No. 4 and 5 golfers, Carolina Briones and Rica Pina, shot 102 and 110 respectively on the Hogan Park Course.

This will be the second trip to Fort Stockton this season for Pecos. They shot a 549 over 27 holes in February in a rain-shortened Fort Stockton Invitational, which Monahans won with a 508 total.

The Eagles’ ‘B’ team had a round of 410 on Friday in Midland, with two of their five golfers breaking 100 on the day. Stephanie Galindo shot a 90 and Melissa Mendoza had a 95 for Pecos, while Kayla Natividad had a 112, Evelyn Flores had a 113 and Marissa Lyles shot a 114.

The ‘B’ team is in sixth place overall with an 830 score, behind Fort Stockton, which shot a 365 and is at 773, while Monahans ‘B’ team shot a 391 and is at 801 overall. Seminole ‘A’ shot a 423 and is seventh, with an 854 score, while Greenwood is eighth, with a 453 on Friday and a 917 score overall.

Pecos’ boys saw their chances for a regional berth ended last week at Monahans, when they shot a 360 for an overall score of 711 through two rounds of play. Seminole is at 666 overall, while Lamesa, Fort Stockton and Monahans are all within 13 strokes of the lead going into the final round on the Indians’ home course.

Nichols shot an 83 last Tuesday and has a 36-hole total of 159, in third place in the medalist standings, behind Seminole’s Brady Shivers (152) and Monahans’ Victor Calzada (155). The top six golfers qualify for regionals as medalists, if they’re not on one of the two teams advancing to the Region I-3A Tournament.

The Eagles shot a 359 last month in a one-day tournament at Seminole, while Nichols and Joseph Tarin both shot 83s on the Gaines County Golf Course.

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