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East Central falls to Smithson Valley
SAN ANTONIO -- After a first-round playoff win over Warren, the East Central Lady Hornet softball team was looking good. Unfortunately, East Central faced the Smithson Valley Lady Rangers in the second round and suffered a 17-2 loss, ending the Lady Hornets’ 2013 playoff run.
The Lady Rangers got things going last Thursday evening in the top of the first inning with three runs. The first two Smithson Valley batters drew walks, and a home run over the right field fence made it a 3-0 game.
After quickly retiring East Central in the bottom of the frame, Smithson Valley came back to the plate in the top of the second inning and promptly scored 5 more runs for an 8-0 advantage. The Lady Rangers then tacked on 9 runs in the top of the third inning to lead 17-0.
East Central finally got some run production in the bottom of the fourth. Haydi Bugarin led off the inning with a triple to center field. Taylor Doege then reached on an error, as Bugarin went in for the Lady Hornets’ first run of the game. Maddison Strunk kept her at-bat alive with several foul balls, before straightening things out and ripping a double to center field that scored Doege from second. Alexis Macias then singled to center field, and East Central had a great rally going with 2 runs, two on, and no one out. Unfortunately for East Central, the rally quickly came to an end, as a pair of groundouts and a strikeout ended the inning after 2 runs, while leaving two runners on base.
East Central held Smithson Valley from scoring any additional runs in the top of the fifth, but the Lady Rangers returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, prompting officials to end the game early with Smithson Valley on top 17-2.
Strunk led the Lady Hornets at the plate with two hits, including a double and an RBI. Bugarin had a triple, and Doege had a hit and an RBI. Strunk was charged with the loss while pitching for East Central, as she gave up three walks and 6 earned runs, including one home run. Doege earned a strikeout, but also gave up 3 earned runs in her three innings pitched.
East Central ends its season with an overall record of 21-12, while going 8-2 in district play to grab the 28-5A title. The Lady Hornets will lose several seniors to graduation, including Kirsten Wiatrek and Stacia Lamey, but will return a host of starters next season, as they look to defend their district title.
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