Odessa, TX – After having to play catch-up most of the contest, Permian’s softball team battled back in the latter innings to claim a 15-14 decision over San Angelo Central. The District 2-6A bout was held on Tuesday at the Ratliff Softball Complex under cool, windy weather conditions.
Down by a run in the bottom of the seventh, junior infielder Mackenzei Bernal came up huge with a lead-off homerun to tie the game. Two batters later, Alexis Belen added a hit into shallow right field for Taylor Ramirez to cross plate for the Lady Panthers’ victory.
Madi Martinez got the start in the circle for Permian and went three and two-thirds innings, striking out four and walking one. Belen came in as relief and recorded five strikeouts and one walk for the Mojo win. But, it was the Permian bats that came on late to decide the outcome.
The visiting Lady Cats opened the game with a pair of hits and a homerun to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Lady Black Cats got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Madison Garcia. A shot over the centerfield fence would assist Central in adding two more runs to their tally in the second frame. Permian batters would be retired in order for Mojo to trail 5-1 after just two innings.
The Lady Panthers managed to cut into the deficit in the third stanza, courtesy of a RBI double by Martinez and Tiggy Rayos crossing the plate during a double steal to make it a 5-3 ballgame. San Angelo pushed their lead to five runs in the top of the fourth and added another run in the top half of the fifth for a 9-3 advantage. Permian stayed the course and began to turn things around in the bottom half of the inning.
Bernal led off with a two-bagger to centerfield, and Mojo would load the bases after Garcia and Anyssa Cruz drew consecutive walks. Bernal would score on a fielder’s choice to make it 9-4. Emma Chavez would step to the plate and go yard to left field to narrow the difference to 9-7 after five complete innings.
The four PHS runs in the bottom of the fifth would get matched by Central bats in the top of the sixth. Three straight Bobcat base hits and a dinger over the centerfield fence had Permian once again trailing, this time by a score of 13-7. With the threat of time limit coming into the picture, it would take a good dose of some Mojo Magic as things began to look bleak for the Lady Panthers.
Back-to-back singles by Rayos and Martinez setup the rally and surge that followed. Bernal’s RBI double was coupled with another RBI double by Ramirez to pull the Black Cats to within three runs at 13-10. An over thrown ball from the shortstop would green light Ramirez to score. Cruz donated an RBI hit to pull the Lady Panthers to within a run, and a sacrifice dribbler by Belen plated Cruz to knot the ballgame at 13-13. The impressive Mojo efforts had produced the needed six runs to force the contest into the seventh frame.
Central wouldn’t go away without a fight and converted a lead-off double into yet another Bobcat run just two batters later. The Lady Panthers were able to end the threat, but were once again trailing in the contest. However, Permian would get one more shot, but was there anything left in that Mojo bag of tricks? That would be quickly answered when Bernal sent a bomb over the right field fence to open the Lady Panthers’ turn at the plate.
Ramirez slapped out a double to get aboard for what represented the winning run. Garcia followed with a walk to have runners on first and second base with one out. That “No Quit” attitude had Permian poised to end the game with a win. Belen tapped a flyball over the head of the second baseman and into short right field. The fielders were unable to haul in the bloop shot as Ramirez passed third base on contact. She would beat the throw and step on home plate to complete the rally for the 15-14 district victory.
The Lady Panthers will next host a non-district game against Coahoma on Saturday, with the first pitch at 12:00 p.m.
|ON THE SCOREBOARD|
|WP: Belen | LP: Talamantes
|AT THE PLATE|
|Ramirez||3/4||2B (2) | 1B | RBI (2) | BB | Runs (2)|
|Bernal||3/5||HR | 2B (2) | RBI (2) | Runs (3)|
|Rayos||2/4||1b (2) | BB | Runs (3)|
|Garcia||1/3||2B | RBI | BB (2) | Run|
|Chavez||1/3||HR | BB | RBI (3) | Run|
|Cruz||1/3||1B | BB (2) | Runs (2)|
|Martinez||1/4||1B | SAC | Runs (2)|
|Belen||1/5||1B | RBI (3)|
|IN THE CIRCLE|
|Martinez||3.2||4 K | 1 Walk | 8 Hits | 8 Runs|
|Belen||3.1||5 K | 1 Walk | 8 Hits | 6 Runs|