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Monday, May 6, 2002

Eagles routed by Maidens after fifth inning collapse

Staff Writer

"This hurt more than any of those 20-run losses that first season,"  said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls, after her team's sudden collapse in the  final two innings of Friday's area round Class 4A playoff game against  the San Angelo Lake View Maidens.

The Eagles had given up only one unearned run through the first four innings of the game, but had been unable to get a run across the plate against Lake View pitcher Josie Jungman. However, in the fourth inning, a single by Stephanie Herrera and an error by shortstop Carmotta Baker on a Becca Wein grounder put runners on second and third base with only one out.

And then, it all fell apart.

Neftali Salgado looked at three straight strikes from Jungman and catcher Lydia Robledo threw a strike to third baseman Jennifer Hill, picking off Herrera for a double play to end the inning. Then in the top of the fifth Herrera walked No. 9 batter Maggie Rodriguez, Robledo followed with a single and Jungman reached on the first of eight errors over the next two innings by the Eagles, as San Angelo scored eight times in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth to rout Pecos by a 13-0 final score.

"You could just feel it. It was like someone hit us in the stomach," Walls said of the strike out-throw out double play that killed the Eagles' only real scoring chance against the Maidens. "It disappoints me, because I thought we were a better team than this. I didn't want a game like this to be a reflection on the team."

The Maidens' final run of the game was a perfect example of what went wrong for the Eagles. Tanni Martin hit a comebacker to the mound that Herrera fielded, and then made a spin move to catch Allison Hill off third base _ the same play she made a year ago in the Eagles' 2-0 playoff loss to Andrews. But this time, Herrera threw the ball past Wein at home plate, for the eighth of Pecos' nine errors on the evening, and Hill scored.

The Eagles also suffered from their youth on the infield, starting freshmen Katie Lee, Danielle Garcia and Kelsey Florez. Garcia, playing her first game at shortstop with Brittany Lobstein ineligible, committed three errors, including one on a two-out grounder by Emily Gonzales in the second inning that gave Lake View a 1-0 lead.

The error came after singles by Jennifer Hill and Kassey Perez, the first of the Maidens' 12 hits off Herrera. Lake View got two more hits in the third inning, but Herrera got Allison Hill to ground out to Garcia to end the inning. Then in the fourth things seemed to turn around for Pecos, as Florez made a backhand stab to rob Perez of a hit, and Wein threw out April Rios trying to steal third after she singled with one away and moved up on a sacrifice bunt.

But after Garcia's second error, on Jungman's grounder, loaded the bases in the fifth, Baker singled home one run and saw a second score when Erica Franco misplayed the ball in right field. Jennifer Hill doubled home two more and after Allison Hill walked, Garcia misplayed Perez' grounder, allowing another run to come home.

Martin popped out to Wein for the first out of the inning, but then Gonzales doubled home two runs, and after Rodriguez grounded back to the mound, Robledo singled to left field for the final run of the inning.

The Maidens then turned their second double play of the game in the bottom of the fifth, doubling Florez off second base on a line drive to Jennifer Hill by Franco. Flores had picked up the Eagles' third and final hit of the game to lead off the fifth, but Jungman then retired the next five batters in order to end the game in the sixth under the 10-run rule.

Lake View's win improved them to 20-9 on the season and put them into a regional quarterfinal game against their district rival, Andrews, who routed the Eagles' district rival, Fabens, in two games in Pecos this past weekend, 11-0 and 16-0, in games at Martinez Field in Pecos.

The Eagles finish with a 14-5 season record in their final game in Class 4A. They'll move down to District 4-3A next season, which will have two of the top teams in the region, Monahans and Greenwood, along with 2002 playoff qualifiers Kermit and Fort Stockton. "The good thing is we have a young team," said Walls, who loses only Wein and first baseman Jessica Rodriguez to graduation. "Hopefully we'll have everybody else returning next year and will have a little more experience."

Pecos to face Frenship in playoff

The Pecos Eagles baseball team will take on the Frenship Tigers in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. at Christensen Stadium in Midland.

Frenship advanced to the area round this past Saturday with a 16-9 win over Canyon to complete a sweep of their best-of-three series in Plainview. On Friday, Frenship scored 10 times in the second inning on the way to a 13-4 win over Canyon.

Sophomore Chris Richburg had two triples in the opening game win and then hit three home runs in Saturday's win, with the second breaking an 8-8 tie after Canyon had rallied from an 8-3 deficit.

It was the second year in a row Frenship had eliminated Canyon from the Class 4A playoffs. The Tigers won a three-game series last year, after Canyon had won a three game series over Pecos in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The Eagles drew a first round playoff bye after winning the District 2-4A title. On Thursday, they split a pair of playoff practice games at Seminole, losing Game 1 by a 5-4 score before winning Game 2 by a 10-0 margin.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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