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Friday, March 21, 2008

Eagles split district-opening softball games

Early leads didn’t hold up for the home teams in either of the Pecos Eagles’ District 2-3A softball openers this week, which was bad news for the Eagle on Monday against the Monahans Loboes, but god news the next day against the Fort Stockton Prowlers.

Pecos jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning of their district opener against Monahans, only to see the Loboes score nine times in the second, and eventually go ahead by a 12-4 score in the fourth inning. The Eagles then cut that lead down to a single run in the sixth inning, before Monahans scored three more times in the seventh for a 15-11 victory.

Tuesday in Fort Stockton, it was the Eagles who were down 3-0 after one inning to the home team. Pecos didn’t have as big an inning as Monahans did in the second, but they scored twice there, two more times in the third and four times in the fourth before going on for a 14-4 win over the Prowlers in their district road opener.

Six of Fort Stockton’s first seven batters reached base in Tuesday’s game, and the Prowlers went ahead 3-0 on Jodi Alvarado’s two-run double and an RBI single by Heather Garvin. But after allowing a double to Jessica Gonzales and walking Kryshna Cordero, pitcher Gabby Garcia came back to strike out Chelsea Woodard and get Mirabel Salinas to ground to first base, to end the inning.

Pecos would get two runs back in the second off pitcher Cynthia Fierro when Aileen Rayos doubled and Garcia walked to open the inning. A wild pitch and stolen base moved the runners up, and both were able to score on Kristen Ikeler’s sacrifice fly, with Garcia coming in from second when Garvin couldn’t handle Silvas’ throw from the outfield.

The tying run scored on an even more unusual play. Diana Parada came in from third on a foul pop up to the catcher that Alvarado caught, but wasn’t able to throw back to Fierro at home plate. Parada and Ally Salcido had walked with one away, moving around on two steals and a passed ball, before another passed ball by Alvarado allowed Salcido to score the go-ahead run.

The Eagles made it 8-3 in the fourth, starting off the inning with four straight singles by Jayme Galindo, Lily Jaramillo, Marlene Salgado and Brittany Palomino. Those hits made it 6-3 and then with two outs Salgado and Palomino scored when Woodard couldn’t hold onto Garcia’s pop up near second base.

Fort Stockton would get one run back in the bottom of the fifth, but the Eagles would make it 11-3 in the sixth on a double by Parada and singles by Salcido, Rayos and Garcia, before scoring three more times in the seventh.

The winds were stronger on Tuesday than they had been on Monday in Pecos, but the Eagles-Loboes contest featured six home runs, starting with Garcia’s three-run shot off Katlyn Mitchell in the bottom of the first inning. It came following singles by Parada and Salcido, but Mitchell would also record three strikeouts in the inning and Monahans would then send 12 batters to the plate in the second inning.

The Loboes got on the board on a walk to Bertha Felon and a double by Barbara Cota. Another walk to Allyeyn Ramos was followed by a one-out single by Bailey Marcum to make it 3-2, and the Loboes tied the game on Kristi Wilson’s single to centerfield. She then stole second and courtesy runner Michelle Azujae scored to give Monahans a 4-3 lead, and they would add five more runs thanks to a pair of walks, two throwing errors by Palomino and Lana Santiago’s RBI double.

Palomino would drive in Galindo with a two out single in the bottom in the inning to make it a 9-4 game, but Wilson would homer off Garcia with one out in the third, and Mitchell would then slap a triple to left-center field and come in on Kellie Almanza’s infield hit to make it an 11-4 game. The lead grew to 12-4 in the fourth on Ramos’ home run down the right field line before the Eagles began their comeback in the bottom of the inning.

Felon threw out Jaramillo trying to stretch a double into a triple to open things up, but then dropped fly balls to center by Ikeler and Salgado around an RBI single by Galindo. Then with two outs Parada hit the first of her two home runs on the night, taking a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left to make it 12-8.

Neither team did anything in the fifth and Monahans went quietly in the top of the sixth, before Galindo singled with one away in the bottom of the inning and Palomino’s RBI single then scored pinch runner Carissa Cerna. Parada followed with her second homer, over the fence in right-centerfield, to make it a 12-11 game. But in the seventh Garcia walked Wilson on a 3-2 pitch, gave up a double to Mitchell, and after a sacrifice bunt by Almanza got Wilson home, saw Santiago take 1-2 pitch deep over the fence in left-centerfield to make it a 15-11 game. Mitchell allowed a leadoff single to Rayos in the bottom of the seventh, but the Eagles weren’t able to get a runner past first in the final inning.

The 1-1 start to district play puts Pecos at 9-11 on the season going into their next 2-3A contest, at home on Tuesday against Presidio. The Blue Devils are 0-2 after starting out district with losses to Fort Stockton and Monahans.

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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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