Lady Bears to play for Region IV title
Members of the La Vernia Lady Bear softball team celebrate their region semifinal win over their competitors from Kingsville. The Lady Bears defeated King High School in a best-of-three series last weekend at Judson High School.
CONVERSE -- With a pair of wins over Kingsville King, the La Vernia Lady Bear softball team has advanced to the Region IV final to be played later this week.
The Lady Bears made a short trip over to Judson High School to face King in the region semifinals. There was no score throughout the first inning, but King got rolling in the top of the second inning and scored 3 runs against the Lady Bears. The lead held until the bottom of the third, when La Vernia scored 3 runs of its own.
Alison Saenz was the first batter of the inning for La Vernia, and needed just two pitches before cranking a home run over the center-field fence for the Lady Bears’ first run of the game. Kara Myrick then came to the plate and singled to shortstop. She was then driven in by Johnna Sturm, who tripled to right field to keep things going. Sturm later scored on a King fielding error to tie the score at 3-3.
The Lady Bear defense held in the top of the fourth, and the La Vernia bats added a 4th run in the bottom of the frame after Kailee Wegehaupt doubled to right field, and later scored on a single by Saenz.
The back-and-forth continued into the fifth inning, as King scored a pair of runs to retake the lead at 5-4. La Vernia responded in the bottom of the frame, however, scoring a pair of runs to assume a 6-5 advantage. Savannah Martinez doubled to start things off, and Morgan Mikes singled to put Martinez on third. Martinez scored on a pitch, and Renee Cummings later doubled to center field to score Mikes for the go-ahead run.
King was unable to respond in the top of the sixth inning, and La Vernia posted a little insurance in the bottom of the inning by scoring Saenz and Myrick. As the teams headed into the final inning, the Lady Bears were in control, 8-5.
King put the ball in play in the top of the seventh, but a good defensive effort quickly retired the side. With a 3-run advantage, the game ended, and the Lady Bears celebrated the victory.
With a 1-0 lead in the series, the Lady Bears returned to Converse on May 17. La Vernia was listed as the visiting team for game two, and the Lady Bears wasted no time getting on the board.
Saenz got on base by virtue of an error, but was later called out on a disputed play at second. Myrick grounded out, but Sturm ripped a single to center field. After stealing second, Sturm scored the first run of the game on a Martinez single to left field.
In the bottom of the second inning, King scored to tie the game at 1-1. La Vernia came back in the top of the third, though, scoring 2 runs to take a 3-1 advantage. Saenz reached on an error to start things off, and Myrick hit an infield single. Sturm reached on an error, and Saenz scored for a 2-1 lead. Mikes later hit a pop fly into left field, but it was deep enough for Myrick to tag up at third and score for a 3-1 Lady Bear lead. Lauren Burkett singled and scored in the top of the fourth inning for a 4-1 La Vernia advantage.
King scored in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it a 4-2 game, but couldn’t close the gap any further until the bottom of the seventh inning. With the final at-bat of the game, King was running out of time, but still had a chance. A pair of hits to start things out was good for King, but Cummings struck out a batter for the first out. A fielding error by La Vernia allowed run No. 3 for King, but the Lady Bears were still in control. A groundout to second base was out No. 2, but King still had runners in scoring position. Cummings kept working on the King batter, though, and struck out Kingsville’s final hope, to leave the winning run stranded at second base. La Vernia celebrated the 4-3 victory and a trip to the Region IV final.
The Lady Bears will now face La Grange in the region final. The best-of-three series will begin this Thursday, May 22, with a 7 p.m. game at Texas State University. Game two will be played Saturday, May 24, at 2 p.m. at Austin Westlake High School. If a third game is needed, it will be played 30 minutes after game two.
La Vernia def. King, 8-5 (Region Semifinal).
Lady Bears: Runs: Ali Saenz-2, Kara Myrick-2, Johnna Sturm-1, Savannah Martinez-1, Morgan Mikes-1, Kailee Wegehaupt-1. RBIs: Saenz-2, Sturm-2, Myrick-1, Renee Cummings-1. Hits: Saenz-2 (1 home run), Myrick-2, Sturm-2 (1 triple, 1 double), Martinez-1 (double), Mikes-1, Cummings-1 (double), Burkett-1, Wegehaupt-1 (double). Walks: Saenz-1. Stolen bases: Saenz-2. Pitching: Morgan Mikes-1 strikeout, 6 hits, 2 earned runs; Cummings-2 walks, 4 hits, 1 earned run.
La Vernia def. King, 4-3 (Region Semifinal).
Lady Bears: Runs: Ali Saenz-1, Kara Myrick-1, Johnna Sturm-1, Lauren Burkett-1. RBIs: Myrick-1, Savannah Martinez-1, Morgan Mikes-1. Hits: Renee Cummings-2, Myrick-1, Sturm-1, Martinez-1, Annie Roswell-1, Lauren Burkett-1. Walks: Myrick-1, Sturm-1. Stolen bases: Saenz-2, Myrick-1, Sturm-1. Pitching: Mackinley Zimmerle-1 strikeout, 6 hits, 1 earned run; Cummings-2 strikeouts, 2 hits.