Victoria East pounces on SA Kennedy to take series lead
By bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
April 28, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 27, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.
Alisha Quinterro was numb, and it was not due the ice bags on her arm.
The Victoria East sophomore pitcher successfully opened the playoffs for the Titans by recording a win on the mound and delivering the victory-clinching hit at the plate.
After the game, Quinterro, whose throwing arm was immediately wrapped in ice, admitted she was overwhelmed with the moment.
"(I feel) nothing right now," the starting pitcher said. "I guess it is just like an adreneline rush or something."
In addition to being a rush, the outcome was a relief for the Titans.
East's 13-3 run-rule victory against San Antonio Kennedy on Friday evening at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex gives it a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Class 4A bi-district series with Game 2 looming Saturday afternoon.
With such a short turnaround before possibly playing the Rockets twice in San Antonio, Titans catcher Lexie Elkins knew the win held added importance.
"The first playoff game is kind of the biggest, just to get the momentum going," she said. "Now, we have to win one on the road.
"They could be a completely different team than what they were tonight, and we could show up and be a completely different team. We need to play just like we did today, but we need to jump on them a little earlier."
The squads entered the third inning scoreless, but the trend did not hold as the first five East batters in the inning got on base and subsequently scored.
Titans left fielder Jodie Garcia jumpstarted the offense by hitting a tirple. Two batters later, Elkins hit a RBI single to score Garcia.
Jennie Johnson added to the total by scoring on a passed ball before Monica Salazar connected on a two-run double prior to scoring herself.
East had four hits in the inning. It was the beginning of an offensive surge as the Titans posted 13 hits over the final three innings after producing just one in the first two.
"We went through the lineup one time and they all got to see the pitcher," East interim coach Lee Price said. "Second time through, we woke the bats up."
"We knew what she had then."
Kennedy starting pitcher Nicole Cerda entered the contest with a 10-2 record, but could not slow down the Titans late in the game.
East added to its lead in the fourth inning, scoring three more times as Elkins and third baseman Marina Rios consecutively had extra base hits to score teammates.
The Rockets attempted to rally in the top of the fifth inning, posting three runs on four hits to trim the deficit to five runs, 8-3, but it would not last.
Kaitlyn Morgan, Garcia and Johnson each got on base to start the bottom of the fifth and each rounded the bases as Rios, Salazar, Briana Arguello and Quinterro recorded RBI hits.
"We all just started having better plate appearances and everyone started seeing the ball better," Rios said. "Once we put the ball in play, hitting is contagious, so we kept going."
The Titans totaled 14 hits in the win.
Rios was 3 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs, while four other Titans finished with two hits.
Johnson was 2 for 2 with three runs, Elkins was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Salazar was 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs and Arguello was 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs.
Quinterro's had just one hit, but it was a timely one as she clinched the victory for the Titans with a double that scored Arguello.
Defensively, Quinterro threw five strikeouts, allowing just five hits. Through the first four innings, the Rockets were held scoreless with just one hit.
"She did outstanding today," Price said. "She's done well for us all year and tonight she showed why she is a great pitcher.
Game 2 will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. at Tiger Field in San Antonio with Game 3 following if necessary.
Victoria East 13, San Antonio Kennedy 3 (5 innings)
Ken 000 03 - 3 5 4
East 005 35 - 13 14 2
W: Quinterro. L: Cerda. TRIPLES: (VE) Garcia, Rios. DOUBLES: (VE) Salazar, Elkins, Quinterro. STATS: Johnson 2-2, 3 runs; Elkins 2-4, 2 RBI; Rios 3-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI; Salazar 2-4, run, 2 RBI; Arguello 2-3, run, 2 RBI. (Ken) N. Ibanna 2-3, RBI; Fuentes 1-2, run; Montelus 1-3, run. RECORDS: East 17-13, Kennedy 17-9.