Big inning lifts Lady Tigers past Salado
Play ing w ithout Marissa Mireles and Kayla Deary, the Lady Tigers jumped out early and then tacked on some insurance runs late in the game to slip by Salado 9- 5 Tuesday af ternoon at the Rockdale Softball Complex.
Rockdale improves to 8-6 on the season, while Salado falls to 12-6.
“ Yes, today was a great win going into district next Tuesday,” said second-year Rockdale Coach Amanda Keen. “We needed to come out swinging and we did. And it was nice for the girls to step up and play as a team even though we had some girls out of position.”
Mireles, a junior shortstop, is out due to an arm injury and third baseman Deary is sidelined with a foot injury.
Behind a solid pitching performance from Kayleigh Montelongo, with 10 strikeouts, the Lady Tigers kept Salado busy with nine hits while loading the bases on three different occassions.
Senior catcher Britni Newlin did the most damage, going 3- for- 4 w ith three runs batted in, including a huge three-run double in the sixth when the Lady Tigers were piling on the runs.
Batting out of the No. 9 hole, Emily McCoy whipped out a pair of singles, including a two-run shot in the second as Rockdale built a 3-0 lead.
McCoy, who scored twice, was also subbing for Mireles at shorstop.
Victoria Drake pushed out a pair of bunt singles and Montelongo and Faith Talley also drove in runs.
The Lady Tigers got to work early, crossing the plate three times in the second.
After Talley and Maci Wages coaxed walks off Salado pitcher Jenna Franz to open the inning, McCoy clubbed a single to right to make it 2-0.
McCoy then scored on an error for a 3-0 lead.
Salado chipped away at the lead with a run in the third and sixth, but the Lady Tigers worked to put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth, sending 10 hitters to the plate after loading the bases in the fifth and coming up empty.
McCoy and Drake opened the inning with a pair of singles, while Amanda Boyd and Vest drew a pair of walks.
After McCoy snuck home on a wild pitch, Montelongo greeted new Salado pitcher Morgan Hill rudely by sending a single to right field to score Drake and Boyd for a 5-2 lead.
Talley then drew a bases loaded walk to score Vest, before Newlin sent a looping double into center field that plated Vest, Montelongo and Talley for a 9-2 lead heading into the final inning.
Salado rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh, including Josie Norman’s second triple of the day out of the nine spot, but Montelongo settled down and closed out the game.
The Lady Tigers go right away into District 23-3A play Tuesday when they host Smithville (2- 10). LaGrange (11-5) is the only ranked district team at No. 20.
Rockdale was third last season.