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Pirettes top Bishop Lady Badgers, advance to semifinals

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Lance Malcher
Sports Correspondent
May 17, 2011 | 1,773 views | Post a comment

BEEVILLE -- The Poth Pirette softball team advanced to the Class 2A Region IV semifinal round last weekend by dispatching the Bishop Lady Badgers in two straight games.

After moving through the area championship round by defeating the San Diego Lady Vaqueros in two games, Head Coach Carilee Robbins and the Pirettes prepared for the inevitable increase in competition -- and a competitive team was certainly what they found in the Bishop Lady Badgers.

With some trouble finding a place to play following the welcomed and rare rain storms that moved through South Texas, the Pirettes and Lady Badgers took to the field in George West for the first game last Thursday.

As they have so many times during this 2011 softball season, the Pirettes took an early advantage. Following a lead-off triple by senior shortstop Kayla Boening, junior second baseman Heather Rocha earned an RBI and gave Poth a 1-0 lead as she drove in Boening while grounding out to the right side of the infield.

Senior Pirette pitcher Monica Cavazos continued to show the poise and control that has notched her more than 30 wins on the year, but as any high school softball fan can attest to, the deeper a team gets into the playoffs, the better hitting it will find.

After shutting the Lady Badgers down in the first two innings, Bishop left fielder Barbara Escobar drew a leadoff walk in the third, and shortstop Tori Geryk moved her into scoring position with her second hit of the game. Then, a double by center fielder Molly Martinez scored Escobar to tie the game, while moving Geryk to third base. A fly ball to left field by Kelsee Cavazos was deep enough to allow Geryk to tag up and score from third, giving the Lady Badgers a 2-1 lead.

Bishop’s pitcher, Laura Castillo, seemed to be in control of the Pirettes after giving up the initial run. That changed, though, as she issued a leadoff walk to Pirette right fielder Kelsey Garcia in the top of the fifth. Garcia moved over to second base on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Lindsey Lyssy, and then senior left fielder Destiny Rodriguez came through with a timely hit from the bottom of the lineup to drive in Garcia and tie the contest at 2-2.

With Cavazos back in control from the pitcher’s circle, it was just up to the Pirette bats to add to the score -- and they came through in the top of the sixth.

With senior first baseman Kaylee Lyssy on first following a walk, freshman catcher Charity Fuller stepped up to the plate and promptly hammered the ball deep to right-center field. Lyssy easily scored on the triple, and as Fuller slid into third base, the ball got away from the Lady Badgers, allowing Fuller to race home for a 4-2 Pirette lead.

The Pirettes added 1 more run in the top of the seventh after Lindsey Lyssy drew a walk and was moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt from Rodriguez. Kayla Boening drove Lyssy in with an RBI single.

Cavazos methodically sat down the last three Lady Badger batters in the bottom of the seventh, and the Pirettes found themselves one win away from a trip to the regional semifinals with a 5-2 victory.

Beeville was the agreed-upon site for the second game of the series, and the possibility of elimination brought out the best in the Bishop Lady Badgers.

On the second pitch of game two, Bishop shortstop Geryk crushed the ball deep to left field and over the fence for a solo home run, giving the Lady Badgers an early 1-0 lead. Over the next three innings, though, Cavazos settled in. Still, it was the stellar defensive play by the Pirettes that kept the game close. Flawless play in the infield and outfield prevented Bishop base runners from scoring additional runs against Poth. In the fifth inning, however, Bishop’s Alexx Sanchez, who had reached based on a one-out single, was driven in by a scorching line drive to right-center field by second baseman Molly Martinez to make it a 2-0 game.

It was in the fifth that the Pirettes, who had been handcuffed by Castillo to that point, began to make their move. Following a leadoff walk from third baseman Ryan Boening, Fuller stepped into the batter’s box looking to get some offense started. Then, on a 2-1 pitch, she did just that, as she pounded the ball deep to left field and over the fence for a 2-run home run to even the score at 2-2.

The Pirettes weren’t satisfied with a tie score, though. Following Fuller’s home run, Garcia drew a walk and advanced to third on a perfect bunt by Lindsey Lyssy. Rodriguez then came to bat and caught the Lady Badger infield off guard with an unexpected bunt. She laid it down beautifully, and Garcia slid under the tag at home plate to give the Pirettes their first lead of the game. The Pirettes added another run in the bottom of the sixth when Rocha scored from third on a wild pitch to make the score 4-2.

After notching two of her four strikeouts in the contest, Cavazos got the Lady Badgers’ star shortstop, Geryk, to ground out to Pirette shortstop Kayla Boening for the final out of the regional quarterfinals.

This week, the Pirettes prepare for what is sure to be a hard-fought battle in the regional semifinals, as they face the Danbury Panthers along their trek to a Texas Class 2A state title.

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