Southwestern Heights salvages split in season-opener
Saturday, 26 March 2011 10:52
L&T staff report
PLAINS — Talk about first game jitters.
The Southwestern Heights Lady Mustangs got off to an inauspicious start to the 2011 softball campaign on Friday evening. Hugoton jumped to a 4-0 frst inning lead in game one, en route to a 16-2 win over Heights.
Game two was much better for the Lady Mustangs as Heights rallied from a deficits of 4-2 and 5-4 to post a 9-6 win at Charlie Smith Memorial Park.
Hugoton hit starter Jessica Baldwin hard in the first game, using two RBI singles and an RBI double to plate four in the first inning.
Heights (1-1) got one back in the bottom fo the first inning when Rachel Stout led off with a triple, later scoring on an RBI single by Morgan Eakes.
Hugoton inched ahead 5-1 in the second, then exploded for six runs in the top of the third to take a commanding 11-1 lead.
Stout hit a double in the bottom of the inning for Heights, but was stranded there.
The Lady Eagles punched in five more runs in the top of the fourth with three doubles and three singles off Eakes, who came on in relief of Baldwin in the third.
Southwestern Heights got its final run in the bottom of the fifth inning after Eakes reached on an error and later scored on a Baldwin ground out.
Baldwin pitched 2-1/3 innings, walking four and striking out three. Eakes pitched 2-2/3 innings, recording a walk and two strike outs.
Eakes got the start in the second game and was able to quiet the Hugoton bats for the most part, going seven innings for the 9-6 win.
Hugoton jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-out single. But Southwestern Heights got one of those back in the bottom half of the first inning when Stout led off with a walk and later scored on an Ericka Nevarez ground out.
Hugoton went ahead 3-1 in the top of the second, and Heights responded with a single run in the bottom of the second inning. “JJ” Juarez led off with a walk and later scored on a bunt single by Baldwin.
Neither team scored in the third as Eakes pitched a solid inning, striking out two.
Hugoton went up 4-2 in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Mustangs rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the inning.
Jordan Lee led off with a walk and later scored on a passed ball. Stout reached on an error and scored when Nevarez also reached on an error. The inning ended when Juarez was called out at the plate when the Lady Mustangs batted out of order.
Hugoton pulled back out in front 5-4 in the fifth, but Heights ralled for a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Cristal Navarro reached on an error and scored on a single by Lee to tie it. Baldwin scored the go-ahead run on a single by Stout.
After Hugoton tied it in the top of the sixth, the Lady Nustangs put the game away with a 3-run outburst in the bottom of the inning.
Baldwin, Lee and Steffany Tabb all knocked in runs in the inning.
Stout recorded a double play in the top of the seventh when she caught a line drive at first and tagged out a Hugoton runner before she could get back to the base.
Eakes struck out four and walked four for the Lady Mustangs.
Heights will travel to Ulysses on Thursday.
• SHAWN YORKS