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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Eagles, Pirates seeking offense, win in playoffs

Based on their past results, don’t expect a lot of scoring tonight from the Pecos Eagles and Lubbock Cooper Pirates, when they meet at 7 p.m. in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs in Andrews.

It’s the fifth trip in the past six seasons to the playoffs for Pecos, and the third straight for Cooper. But in those four previous games, the Eagles have been shut out three times, while the Pirates have bee beaten 1-0 in the bi-district round each of the past two years. The Eagles were also shut out in three of their four games against Monahans and Greenwood this season, which left Pecos with the No. 3 playoff spot out of District 4-3A. Cooper, meanwhile, finished second in District 3-3A to Snyder, a team the Eagles scored nine runs off of during pre-district play.

“We’ve got to play defense, and we need to put the ball in play and make them make plays on it,” said Eagles’ coach Tammy Walls, whose team comes into the game with a 16-11 record following Monday’s 8-4 pre-playoff game win over Alpine.

Stephanie Herrera allowed eight hits in a game where both teams’ pitchers tried to throw pitches similar to what they expect to see in the playoffs. For Pecos, that meant seeing a few more off-speed pitches similar to those Walls said Cooper pitcher Lorin Duff throws. The Pirates are 15-6 on the season and Duff has pitched all 21 games. Along with her change-up, Duff also has been throwing more fastballs this season.

Offensively, Walls said assistant coach Gaylon Doan scouted Cooper last week. “He said the top of their lineup is pretty strong. They bunt a lot and have some speed.”

Catcher Whitney Burris and second baseman Kari Snyder have been the Pirates’ top hitters so far this season.

Herrera, Brittany Lobstein and Jenny Palomino have been the Eagles’ top hitters so far in 2004, and Walls said, “If we can get the ball into the outfield, we should be OK.”

The Eagles have had to shift their line-up slightly the past two games, with the loss of Amalie Herrera. Vanessa Valeriano replaced her at shortstop, and Walls said they spent this week working on infield defense due to the change.

“She’s had two good days of practice, and we feel comfortable she’s able to step in and do what’s needed to be done,” the Eagles’ coach said.

The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the area round of the playoffs next week against Muleshoe. The Eagles advanced to the area round of the bi-district playoffs in their first four post-season appearances by winning the District 2-4A title, but lost each time, with the closest games a 9-8 extra-inning loss to Hereford in 2000 and a 2-0 loss to Andrews the following year.

Eagles look to end state drought at I-3A meet

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles will be looking for their first state track meet qualifier in seven years this weekend, when seven Eagles compete at the Region I-3A Track and Field Championships at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

Four girls and four boys earned trips to regionals two weeks ago, at the District 4-3A meet in Kermit, but coach Jerry Parent said junior shot putter Chad Evans won’t be eligible to compete this weekend, after winning the district title. That leaves seniors John Parent in the discus and Alex Orosco in the 400 meter dash, along with junior Rashad Terry in three events, the high jump, 100 meter dash and 200 meters.

Terry was the one last year who lost his eligibility going into regionals. This time, he set two district records in winning the 100 and 200 at Kermit, and Parent said, “He’ll be among the fastest times,” going into Friday’s preliminaries.

Terry ran a 10.43 time in the 100 on April 16 in Kermit, ahead of the regional record, set by Graham’s Jeff Johnson in 1990 of 10.48 seconds. In the 200, he won at district with a 21.43 time, while Jeff Roberts of Clyde holds the regional mark of 21.09 seconds, set 12 years ago.

Terry also won the high jump at district, but he’ll likely have to improve on his 6-foot jump to have a chance at advancing to Austin. “He cleared 6-3 in practice, but we’ll have to see how he does with shoes on,” Parent said.

Parent took first in discus at district with a 149-foot-1 throw. Going into regional, Jerry Parent said, “I’d say John is in the Top 5. There’s a kid from Clyde who’s probably the leader. He had a throw around 170 (feet). After that, it gets into the 150s.”

Orosco was second to Monahans’ Tyquelly Fletcher in the 400-meter dash at district. His best times this season have been around 52 seconds, and Parent said, “There are three or four people running 49s, and one running a 48, so he’ll really have to cut time.”

Pecos’ Stephanie Herrera just missed a state berth a year ago, finishing third in the shot put at regionals. However, she finished behind Fort Stockton’s Tammy Cash last year in Odessa, as well as two weeks ago in Kermit, while taking first in the discus at the District 4-3A meet.

“I think Stephanie’s seeded pretty high in the discus and shot put. It all depends on how she throws,” said coach Roxie Chavez. “I just hope she doesn’t give us a scare like she did at district.”

Herrera won the 4-3A discus title on her third throw at district, after scratching on the first two of her three preliminary round throws. She won with a 115-foot-9 throw, about nine feet short of her best effort this season and will compete in that event Friday morning, while throwing the shot put Saturday morning.

Sophomore Jennifer Martinez also qualified for regionals in two events, but Chavez said, “We pulled her out of the two mile (3200 meters) so she would have a better chance in the mile.”

Martinez just missed district records in winning the 1600 and 3200 meter races at Kermit, but Chavez said, “Looking at the other times we decided Jennifer in the mile might have a chance to go to state if she can cut her time a little.” She won at district with a 5:50.31 effort, and also competed at regionals at year ago, but failed to place in the Top 6.

Also winning first at district with 200-meter runner Jummy Akinyode. She finished with a 26.75 time to take that event for the second year in a row. Last year at regionals, Akinyode ran a 26.9 and missed qualifying for Saturday’s finals.

The other regional qualifier for Pecos is Alessandra Carrasco in the 800 meter run. Like Orosco, Carrasco placed second in her event at district, and will have to improve on her time in Friday’s preliminaries in order t advance to Saturday’s finals.

Field events will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and will resume on Saturday at the same time. Preliminaries will get underway on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Finals will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Ratliff Stadium, with Martinez the only Eagle assured of running on the final day of the meet, since the 1600 will not have a preliminary race. She’ll run at 3:55 p.m. on Saturday.

The top two finishers in each event will advance to the Class 3A state meet, on May 14-15 in Austin. The last Pecos state qualifier was Bryan Brownlee, who advanced to Austin in the discus and shot put in 1997.

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