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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Late error helps Eagles get past Prowlers, 2-0

Staff Writer

Neither the Pecos Eagles nor the Fort Stockton Prowlers have  been hammering good pitching during the 2003 softball season. So it  figured that the deciding play of Tuesday's game at Martinez Field would be  on a ball that traveled all of two feet in front of home plate.

Stephanie Herrera's two-out bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning was fielded by catcher April Singh, but she then threw high to first base and the ball tipped off the glove of Jenny Blaylock and went down the right field line. That allowed Brittany Lobstein and Kristy Contreras to score and give the Eagles a 2-0 win over the Prowlers and sole possession of third place in the District 4-3A standings.

"I knew we were going to have this type of game this season. I just didn't know if it would be today or not," said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls. "But we played a good game on defense and all nine positions came together."

Lobstein was the only Eagle to have much success making contact against Fort Stockton pitcher Lily Acala. The former Prowler singled to center with two outs in the third and was left stranded, but then singled to left field with one out in the sixth and went to third on a passed ball by Singh.

Contreras then beat out another tap in front of home plate, and stole second, but Acala came back to strike out Neftali Salgado before Herrera laid down her bunt just in front of the plate that was thrown away by Singh. Herrera went all the way to third on the play, and tried to score when Acala got the ball and was turned away from the base, but was called out for leaving after the Prowlers' pitcher had gotten back into the circle.

Singh then battled Herrera through several foul balls before singling off Kelsey Flores' glove to open the seventh, but Herrera then struck out Acala on a 3-2 pitch and then fanned Blaylock for her eight strikeout of the game, and Lobstein then caught Singh trying to steal second, with Contreras putting the tag on her helmet as she slid towards the base for the final out.

"Stephanie pitched a good game, Brittany caught a good game and we had a couple of good plays at third base by Jessica Flores," Walls said. Herrera ended up with a three-hitter, while Flores threw out a couple of runners and handled Blanca Ortiz' pop up in the third inning to end the Prowlers' last real threat.

Fort Stockton threatened to score in each of the first three innings, but was twice done in by base running mistakes. Ruby Bernal singled to open the game, stole second and went to third on Roxy Ramirez' ground out. But when Singh walked with two away and tried to continue on to second, Bernal got caught off third by Herrera, who threw to Flores for the inning ending out.

In the second, Acala and Blaylock led off with walks, but Herrera then struck out Annette Hernandez and Pat Pena, and then picked Blaylock off first base to end the inning. Ortiz' pop-up ended the third, after Ramirez reached on an infield single and went to second when Contreras' throw from shortstop got past Danielle Garcia.

Until the sixth, the Eagles' biggest scoring threat came in the second, when Jessica Flores reached second with one out when Ramirez threw away her grounder to second. But Acala then struck out Kelsey Flores and Bre'Ann Windham to end the threat, and Windham was thrown out by Singh trying to steal in the fifth, after she reached on an infield single in front of home plate.

For Acala, the loss was the second hard-luck defeat in two days and the third in the first half of district play. She had shut out Monahans over six innings on Monday, only to see the Loboettes tie the game in the seventh and win in extra innings, 5-1. The Prowlers, 2-3 in district, opened 4-3A play by dropping a 2-1 decision at Midland Greenwood, who they'll host on Friday.

Pecos, meanwhile, stays at home to host Presidio this Friday. The Eagles opened district play with a 15-0 win over the Blue Devils in Presidio back on March 11.

At Pecos

Fort Stockton 000 000 0 0 3 2

Pecos 000 002 x 2 4 1

Acala and Singh. Herrera and Lobstein. W - Herrera. L - Acala. E - FtS, Ramirez, Singh. Pec, Contreras. LOB - Ft. Stockton 5, Pecos 2. DP - Ft. Stockton 1. SB - FtS, Bernal. Pec, Contreras. CS - FtS, Singh. Pec, Windham. PB - Singh.

Eagles' late rally again falls short in 9-8 loss

Staff Writer

When you're trailing 8-0 midway through the game and are down  by seven runs going into your final at-bat, losing a chance to tie the score on  a base running mistake can be considered something of a moral victory.

But the end result was another loss for the Eagles, as they again fell behind early, and saw a late comeback fall short Tuesday night in Monahans, losing to the Loboes by a 9-8 final score.

The Eagles fell behind twice last week by 7-1 margins. They rallied to beat Big Spring 9-7, but came up a run short against Kermit in their District 4-3A opener on Saturday, losing by a 7-6 score, after allowing the Yellowjackets four runs in the first inning and one more in the second.

This time, Monahans collected five first inning runs and scored twice more in the third off Matthew Levario, then picked up an unearned run in the fourth off reliever Jose Reyes. Pecos finally got on the scoreboard against pitcher Noah Miles in the fifth with two runs, left the bases loaded in the sixth after Monahans got its final run, and then exploded for six runs in the seventh inning, but came up one run short as reliever Dimas Porras got Levario to ground to third base with the tying and go-ahead runs on first and second.

"Maybe from now on we should start on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, and then we'll explode from the beginning," said coach Elias Payan, who wasn't happy with the loss, but was happy with his team's late inning rally.

"The kids played well when we came back. We finally started getting aggressive at the end, when we could have just laid down and died down 9-2 in the seventh inning," he said.

As was the case with Kermit's early runs on Saturday, Monahans' first inning outburst was due to the Loboes' hitting more than any problems with the Eagles' defense. A bad relay cost the Eagles a chance to throw out Keith Balderaz at home plate, but that came after a double by Porras, a single by Balderaz and Levario hitting Miles with a pitch loaded the bases with one out.

Scott Najar's single off Levario scored Porras and Balderaz, and after Joe Juarez struck out, Adrian Dominguez doubled home two more runs and Houston Stockman brought him home with a hit to make it 5-0.

Levario, who two-hit Monahans earlier this month in Midland, got through the second inning unharmed but was replaced by Jose Reyes in the third, after the Loboes made it 7-0. Miles singled and scored on a passed ball by Ruvel Carrasco following a single by Najar and a Juarez sacrifice, and Najar came home on Dominguez' second hit of the game. They made it 8-0 in the fourth when Joey Aguilar walked and went to third on a steal and a throw into center field by Carrasco. He then scored on Porras' ground out.

Pecos, meanwhile, was having no luck with Miles' curveball through the first four innings. Their only hit was an infield single by Rigo Ramirez until the fifth, when Victor Reyes reached on another infield hit and then scored when David Elkins doubled to right-center field. He then came home on Levario's single to center field.

Monahans got a run back due to control problems by Reyes in the bottom of the inning. He walked Jesus Pedroza and Porras to force home a run after Dominguez and Stockman opened the inning with singles. The Eagles then missed a chance to score in the sixth after loading the bases with one out on Barney Rodriguez' 380-foot single off the center field fence, an error by Aguilar on Ramirez' grounder to short and Miles' hitting Victor Reyes with a pitch, the third of four batters Miles would hit on the night.

That finally cost the senior in the seventh, when he led things off by plunking Jose Reyes. Levario followed with a deep fly to center that Dominguez couldn't hold onto, and Torres followed with an RBI single to make it 9-3. Monahans then made another error, as Najar threw the ball past second base trying for Torres on Parada's grounder to third, which scored Levario.

Miles then wild pitched Torres home, walked Rodriguez and saw Ramirez single home Parada to cut the lead to 9-5. That brought Porras on, but after getting Victor Reyes to force Ramirez at second on a comebacker to the mound, Carrasco grounded a single to centerfield to score Rodriguez and make it 9-7.

However, on the play, Reyes came too far past second, and with Dominguez fielding the ball in short center didn't see Payan tell him to hold up at second until it was too late. He was tagged out in a rundown, which was costly was Elkins walked, and Jose Reyes singled to right-center to make it 9-8. Porras then got Levario to ground to Najar, who stepped on third for the game-ending force play.

The loss left Pecos at 0-2 in district and 12-7 on the season, while Monahans is 2-0 and 11-5. "You've got to give it to Monahans. They hit the ball tonight. But we'll be back. We'll be in the thick of things," said Payan, whose team plays five of their final eight 3-4A games at home, beginning with Friday's game against Fort Stockton.

Pecos takes lead in 3-4A girls tourney

They didn't burn up their home course on Tuesday, but the Pecos Eagle girls' golf team did well enough to open up a 21-stroke lead on Monahans after the opening round of the District 4-3A golf tournament.

Playing at the Reeves County Golf Course, the Eagles shot a 320, while Monahans finished with a 341 score, nine strokes up on third place Fort Stockton. Freshman Shelly Martinez was the lone Eagle to break 80 on the day, and her round of 78 put her in second place in the medallist race, two strokes behind Monahans' Whitney Mitchell.

"Overall we did well, but not as well as we would have wanted to do," Eagles coach Tina Hendrick said. "We had a few rough holes, but we came back and we'll start the next round with a good lead and just take the tournament one round at a time."

Lauren Martinez and Sarah McKinney both finished with rounds of 80 for Pecos and are tied for third in the medallist race, while Brandi North shot an 82 and Dena Dutchover had an 87 for the other 'A' team scores. North is tied for fifth individually, while Dutchover is in ninth place among the 4-3A golfers.

The Eagles have qualified both their 'A' and 'B' teams for regionals each of the past four seasons. That probably won't happen again this year, as the 'B' team did shoot a 393 to place fifth in the standings. However, Hendrick said, "The 'B' team is hanging in there. They're just three strokes behind Greenwood for fourth place."

Jennie Canon shot an 88, Bianca Mendoza had a 94, Susan Bradley a 99 and Evelyn Flores shot a 112 for the 'B' team's scores. Canon's 88 tied her for 10th overall in the medallist standings.

Kermit was the other team at the tournament, and shot a 426 for sixth place overall.

The second round of the district tournament will be April 4 at Fort Stockton, with the final round scheduled for Hogan Park in Midland. Pecos' boys, who are in second after the first round of their tournament in Kermit on Monday, will be at Monahans for their second round this coming Monday.

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Pecos Enterprise
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