St. Joseph snags first district victory
March 6, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2014 at 9:06 p.m.
The tone was consistent throughout the first five innings of St. Joseph's first TAPPS 3-4A District game against San Antonio Christian on Thursday night.
After an early run by Alyssa Adames in the first inning, the Lady Flyers (9-9, 1-0) did not allow more than four batters per inning, either by strikeouts or quick infield outs at first base.
In the sixth inning, a three-run streak by Amanda Sohrt, Mariah Clay and Peyton Cuellar gave St. Joseph the rhythm it was looking for, finishing out the game with a solid 4-0 victory.
"We finally settled down, saw the ball and made contact," Sohrt, a junior, said.
Sohrt pitched all seven innings for the Lady Flyers, striking out 10 batters, walking two and allowing only two hits.
"I feel pretty good," she said moments after their win. "We have a good chemistry going; we just have to keep it up."
St. Joseph coach Craig Lauger said in the three years Sohrt has been on the mound, her pitches have gotten faster, more developed and smarter.
"She doesn't waste a lot of energy on her pitches," Lauger said. "When she misses, she doesn't miss that far off her spot."
Sohrt began pitching in her first year of 10U select softball but also has experience at first base and in fielding positions.
"She's been solid," Lauger said about Sohrt's pitching in pre-district games. "We need to play a little better defense behind her, and then everything works really well. Everybody builds off that same momentum."
Sohrt hopes to make it back to the state tournament for the second time.
"We play for ourselves and do the best we can," she said.
Clay, one of two senior starters and St. Joseph's only catcher, said she feels pretty confident in its defense.
"Our offense needs a little work; we're getting there, but we're getting there way late in the game," said Clay, who scored a run and one RBI.
After a series of short hits to the infield and quick outs at first, the Lady Flyers started to relax in the sixth inning.
Starting with a base hit by Sohrt, Clay quickly followed up with a base hit of her own.
Then Peyton Cuellar, senior third baseman, hit a solid double to centerfield, which batted in Sohrt for the second run.
Clay scored the third run on a base hit by sophomore Hanna Novosad, and Cuellar scored the final run on a base hit by Chloe Cisneros.
Sohrt pitched two hitless innings, including the seventh, and struck out at least one batter each inning.
San Antonio Christian senior Katie Pavelek hit a solid triple in the bottom of the sixth, which was the Lions' best shot at getting on the scoreboard.
But a quick strikeout by Sohrt squashed that possibility, and San Antonio Christian went scoreless.
Morgan Hanz also hit a double but went out soon afterward.
The Lady Flyers will travel to Austin to play Hyde Park Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"Hyde Park is usually very strong," Clay said. "It's always a good game when we play them.
"We're going to start off early and try our best to get our bats going ahead of time. Our defense is solid, but we're still going to be up and trying to stop them early," Clay continued.