Lady Mules @ Area vs. Coahoma (5-2-14)
The Coahoma Bulldogettes bite the Lady Mules for the second time in two years to eliminate them from the Texas State Softball Playoffs. The teams met on the Lady Pirate Field of Lubbock Cooper ISD. The neutral site is a total turf field and the ball takes much bigger bounces off the turf than the dirt and grass where the Lady Mules normally play.
“This was not our choice of places to play,” said Lady Mule coach Erin White. “The ball acts very differently coming off the turf than it does grass or dirt. But it was a great season for us.”
“We should continue to be strong again next season despite losing three fine seniors. Marissa (Cortez) has done a great job for us in the pitching circle the last two years. We also lose the left side of the infield with Amber (Lopez) and Diamond (Lopez) both were three-year starters and are graduating.”
“The good news is we have some players on the bench and on the JV team that should be ready to go next year. We had two freshmen starting for us in most games this season so our future looks bright.”
“The girls, Coach Sheri Veazy and I want to thank the fans for the support they have given us all season. It is great to be a Mule every day.”
The Lady Mules led for four and a half innings when the Bulldogettes tied the game at 3-3. The game remained tied during the fifth, sixth and top half of the seventh inning. The first two batters to the plate for Coahoma doubled and singled to end the game.
Coahoma won the Area Championship 4-3 over the Lady Mules.
The Lady Mules lost the flip at the plate before the game started. The Bulldogettes chose to be the home team and batted in the bottom half of the inning.
Neither team could score in the first two innings with pitching and fielding holding the opposition off the board.
But that changed in the top of third inning when Reagan Reynolds blasted the ball off the wall in left field and motored into second with a stand up double. Diamond Lopez singled to left center field to score Reynolds to put the Lady Mules ahead 1-0.
Marissa Cortez threw ground balls to top of the order in the bottom of the third inning. The lead off batter grounded out to Brittany Mendoza at second base. The second batter sent a ground ball down the first base line to Gabi Chavez. She snagged the ball and stepped on the base for the second out.
The third batter bunted down the first base line. Chavez charged the ball and Cortez raced from the circle to cover first base. Chavez made the under-handed flip to Cortez just prior to her reaching first base for the third out.
Miranda DeBruin’s fly ball to right center field bounced off the glove of the running center fielder and DeBruin was standing on second when the ball was returned to the infield. Cortez helped her own cause with a single to right field to score DeBruin from second base and put the Lady Mules ahead 2-0.
Coahoma scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Bulldogettes sent eight batters to the plate. They hit four singles and walked to tie the game at 2-2. The Lady Mules made no errors.
The Lady Mules added a third run in the top of the fifth inning to retake the lead. Chavez sent a ground ball single past the short stop into left field. Reynolds singled to shallow left field to put runners at first and second base.
D. Lopez reached on a fielders choice when the second baseman fielded the ball and flipped it to short stop to force out Reynolds. The throw to first for a double play went over the first baseman’s head. In the confusion Chavez scored and a second throwing error allowed D. Lopez to wind up at third base. A ground ball ended the inning with the Lady Mules leading 3-2.
Two ground balls sent the first two Coahoma batters back to the bench in the bottom of the fifth inning. The next batter sent a ground ball to left center field for a single. A double scored a run to tie the game at 3-3.
Sasha Esparza chased down the ground ball and came up throwing to Mendoza as the cut-off man. Mendoza’s throw to D. Lopez was in time for the tag at third for the final out to end the inning.
Back-to-back strike outs ended the top half of the sixth inning for the Lady Mules with runners at first and second base.
Coahoma threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off single to center field. An error allowed a runner to reach and put Bulldogettes at first and second. Cortez struck out the ninth batter in the order for the first out of the inning.
A single to short right left field was scooped up by Mireya Ruvalcaba and thrown to Amber Lopez at short stop. A. Lopez fired a strike home to Adriana Loya for the tag and the second out. A ground ball to D. Lopez at third ended the inning with the score still tied at 3-3.
The Lady Mules went in order in the top of the seventh inning with a strike out and two ground outs.
Cortez gave up four runs on 11 hits, hit one batter and walked two. She struck out four and stranded eight on base. The Lady Mules committed one error.
Cortez and Reynolds led the Lady Mules in hitting by stroking two hits each in three opportunities. The Bulldogettes committed four errors. The Lady Mules had seven hits and only left four runners on base.