Lady Flyers split two at home tournament
For two and a half innings, neither team threatened to score. Once the dam broke, the softball teams from St. Joseph and Port Neches-Groves didn't stop.
The only problem for St. Joseph was they didn't finish off the Indians when they had the chance, falling 7-4 during Friday's action at the St. Joseph tournament.
With one out in the bottom of the third senior shortstop Kate Tucker sent the first pitch she saw from pitcher Brittnee Moore over the fence in right-center field for a three-run home run.
Later in the inning Sarah Sainz hit a bloop single to left field to bring in Mariah Clay and increase the Flyers advantage to 4-0.
Before the Flyers could consolidate their lead, six straight Indians reached base on St. Joseph ace Holly Parenica to begin the fourth inning. The first five recorded hits, while a sixth was hit by a pitch.
"We've been getting relaxed when we get the lead," said St. Joseph co-head coach Craig Lauger. "Instead of maintaining, we need to find out how we can shut teams down."
The first three singles were all sharply hit balls to the left side of the Lady Flyers' infield. Two of them took a hop, preventing St. Joseph from making a play.
Parenica was able to force the first out in the fourth, with the Flyers leading 4-3. However, the next batter snuck a double between Peyton Cuellar and the third base bag to give the Indians a 5-4 lead.
Freshman Amanda Sohrt relieved Parenica and recorded the final two outs of the inning. But the damage was done. The visitors added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning to give sophomore reliever Shelby Valentine additional room for error while picking up the two-inning save.
"We put the ball in play. They were ground balls and forced them to make a play," said Indians head coach Brook Fontenot. "Sometimes, we got the bad bounces and a bit of luck."
Fontenot said her team made the long drive so they could face good teams and get additional experience. She praised the Flyers for their mental approach to the game as she noted Lauger's team was constantly thinking a play ahead before any ball was pitched.
Lauger would almost assuredly take the compliment. But, he would also state his 4-4 Flyers have a long way to go, despite beating Odem 7-2 earlier in the afternoon.
"Fundamental softball, we need to work more on fundamentals," Lauger said. "That's what we can learn from this."