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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Errors cost Pecos in 5-3 loss at Greenwood

After going 21 innings against the two teams ahead of them in the District 4-3A softball standings in their first three games, the Pecos Eagles finally got on the board and got the lead on Tuesday in Midland against the Greenwood Rangerettes.

But after going up 3-1 on pitcher Sarah Heidelburg, the Eagles allowed Greenwood to score four times in the third inning. Heidelburg then shut down the Eagles until two outs in the seventh, when she allowed Pecos to load the bases before getting the final out to end the game.

“I’m disappointed, because we should have beaten them,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, who played without three starters in the lineup for part of the game and minus two regulars for the entire contest.

“We had some errors on plays that we should have made,” Walls said. She made the changes after the players missed practice over the Easter holiday. “Those weren’t the positions where the errors occurred at (in the third inning), but I think it messed up our rhythm and timing. It’s the kind of situation you don’t want to be in this late in the season.”

In all three of their earlier losses to Greenwood and Monahans, the Eagles had surrendered runs in the opening inning and never could get on the scoreboard. They allowed a first inning run again on Tuesday, on an RBI single by Veronica Carruth, but this time, Pecos already had scored a run of its own in the first inning, on a single by Stephanie Herrera.

But in the second the Eagles would take advantage of a walk and a Greenwood error to score one run, then added another when Jenny Palomino scored Katie Lee on an infield single. Herrera held the lead through the bottom of the second, but in the third an error at shortstop by Amalie Herrera on a possible double play grounder opened the door for Greenwood, as seven straight batters reached base for the Rangerettes.

Carruth had another RBI hit in the streak and Emily Burgess also added a single, while an error by Palomino in left field would help the Rangerettes take a 5-3 lead.

From the final out of the third inning to the first two outs of the seventh, Heidelburg retired a dozen batters before singles by Brittany Lobstein, Savannah Ewing and Palomino loaded the bases. But the Rangerette pitcher then got Stephanie Herrera on a comebacker to the mound for the final out.

The loss dropped Pecos back to the .500 level in district, at 4-4, and put them at 13-11 on the season. Greenwood is 8-1 in district and 14-8 on the season, tied for first with Monahans going into their final regular season game.

The Loboes helped out Pecos on Tuesday by beating Fort Stockton, 11-1. The win kept the Eagles a half-game in front of the Prowlers in the race for the final District 4-3A playoff berth. Pecos can clinch their fifth trip to the playoffs in the past six seasons in their next game, when they host Fort Stockton next Tuesday afternoon. A win would put Pecos in the playoffs, while the Eagles could still force a playoff for third despite a loss, if they win their final regular season game, at home against Kermit on April 23.

Eagles hold off Jackets for sixth district win

Staff Writer

In a game of missed chances, the Pecos Eagles ended up doing just enough with their opportunities to get past the Kermit Yellowjackets Tuesday night, and remain unbeaten in District 4-3A play.

The Eagles squandered several scoring opportunities in the game, but used doubles by Josh Anchondo and Victor Reyes in the third inning to grab a 1-0 lead, added two more runs in the fourth on three hits and an error. Anchondo then made that stand up, surviving a series of jams to get his fourth win in district and Pecos’ sixth overall by a 3-1 final score.

“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take it,” said Eagles’ coach Elias Payan. “A win’s a win, but we still have a lot of room for improvement, because everybody’s going to be gunning for us from here on out.”

From a bases-loaded, one out jam in the first to a two-on, one out situation in the fifth, Anchondo kept all but one of the 11 runners he allowed in the first five innings from scoring. The sophomore would allow two more runners in the final two innings, but the first was erased by a double play and the second was stranded at first when he caught Jesus Aranda looking with a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Anchondo’s main problem all night was getting his curve ball over for a strike. “We still have to work on that,” Payan said. “I’ll work with the other pitchers first and with Josh later in the week. If he can get his curveball over, Josh would be a dominant pitcher, but he still has work to do on that.”

Aranda was also the batter in the first inning, when an error by Edward Valenica at third base, a walk to Jay Bennett and an intentional walk to Erbay Saucedo loaded the bases. But he ended up lining a hard shot right at Valencia, who caught the ball and stepped on third too double off Hunter Hardaway and end the inning.

Kermit starter Lupe Munoz had given up a leadoff single to Jaime Muela in the first, but then retired the next six hitters he faced before Anchondo lined a double over the head of Randy Butterfield in right field to open the third inning. Munoz then retired the next two batters, before Victor Reyes lined his first pitch into the gap in left-centerfield to score the first run of the night.

The Eagles made it 3-0 in the fourth, but could have gotten more. Jose Reyes opened the inning by doubling down the line in left, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Edward Valencia’s single to center. Munoz then walked Eddie Vela and Anchondo followed with his second hit of the night, a single to right that Butterfield bobbled, allowing Valencia to score.

Munoz came back to get Jonathan Garcia on a line drive to shortstop and then struck out Jaime Muela to end the inning. He would strand Jose Reyes at second in the fifth, after his second double of the night, before leaving the game after injuring himself covering home plate on a wild pitch with two outs in the sixth. Bennett came on and inherited a 2-0 count and runners on second and third, but came back to strike out Muela to retire the side.

Munoz missed a chance to help himself in the fourth when he flew out to right field after Anchondo walked the bases loaded with two outs. That came after the Jackets failed to take advantage of a leadoff double by Edgardo Madrid and a one out single by Hardaway in the third.

Kermit finally scored a run in the fifth when Hardaway doubled to open the inning, Saucedo singled with one out and Aranda followed with a hard shot grabbed by a diving Valencia. He didn’t have time to get Hardaway, but opted to try and force Saucedo at second base. The throw was late, putting the tying runs on base, but Anchondo came back to strike out Randy Carrillo and Cooter Green to retire the side.

The win improved Pecos’ season record to 9-12 and 6-0 in district after a 3-12 start, Kermit, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction, falling to 0-6 after going 10-3 in pre-district play. The win, coupled with Monahans’ 2-1 loss at Presidio, also clinches no worse than a tie for third in the district standings for the Eagles. They can clinch their sixth straight playoff trip next Tuesday, when they go to Monahans to face the Loboes in their next game.

Pecos 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 -- 3 8 1

Kermit 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 -- 1 5 2

Anchondo and Muela. Munoz, Bennett (6) and Greene. W - Anchondo (6-2). L - Munoz. E - Pecos, Valencia. Kermit, Butterfield, Ortiz. DP - Pecos 2. LOB - Pecos 6, Kermit 10. 2B - Pecos, Anchondo, V. Reyes, J. Reyes 2. Kermit, Madrid, Hardaway. SB - Pecos, Muela, J. Reyes, V. Reyes. Kermit, Hardaway 2, Bennett. CS - Pecos, V. Reyes (by Greene). WP -Pecos, Anchondo. Kermit, Munoz. PB - Kermit, Greene.

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Pecos Enterprise
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