Devilettes offer up area challenge
Come Fr iday, the Lady Tigers will face a team with equal if not more impressive credentials.
Rockdale (19-5) will face Huntington (20-7) in a three-game area playoff at Madisonville High School beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m..
The series will resume Saturday at 4 p.m. with a third game to follow if necessary.
The winner will take on Pollack Central-West winner in regional quarterfinals.
While Huntington slipped to third place this season behind District 20-3A champion Pollack Central, they have a rich softball history.
The Devilettes have averaged 26 wins a year since 2004 and surpassed 30 victories five times. They went four years without losing a district contest (56-0).
In 2012, the Devilettes were area finalists.
In Huntington’s 2- 0 bi- district victory over District 19-3A runnerup Fairfield, junior righthander Erica Wright fanned 19 batters and allowed just two baserunners.
Wright—daughter of Huntington coach Ruth Wright—was a first-team all-state selection at second base a year ago.
The Lady Tigers enter the post season on a roll, having outscored their opponents 26-5 in the past four games.
The District 18-3A co-champions have reeled off five straight victories and six of seven.
After suffering through six straight first-round playoff series losses, Rockdale broke through last season and el iminated Columbus in bi-district.
The Lady Tigers were bumped out in the next round by Huffman Hargrave.
Kayleigh Montelongo has led Rockdale at the plate and on the mound and needs one more victory for 50 in her career. She is 18-5 for the season and sports a 1.45 earned run average.
While Montelongo (.440) tops the Lady Tiger hit list, the production has been solid up and down the lineup.
Sophomore Faith Talley (.393) has tallied 13 extra base hits
LADY TIGER STATISTICS
Hitting (at bats-hits-avg)—Montelongo 22-50 .440; Mireles 20-51 .392; Talley 22-56 .393; Fischer 19-50 .380; Boyd 22-59 .373; Deary 20-51 .392; McCoy 14-41 .341; Wages 18-51 .353; Wright 6-16 .375; Vest 18-57 .316; Wallis 16-49 .327, Eubanks 1-5 .200. Runs—Mireles 19, Boyd 16. Doubles—Mireles 7, Talley 7. Triples—Talley 3, Mireles 3. Home runs—Talley 3, Deary 2. RBI—Talley 10, Montelongo 8. Steals—Montelongo 6, Mireles 6. Pitching—Montelongo 17-5 1.45; Fischer 1-0 5.00. (including a team-high three home runs) and also tops the team in runs batted in with 10.
Seniors Marissa Mireles (.392) and Morgan Fischer (.380) along with juniors Amanda Boyd (.373), Maci Wages (.353), Emily McCoy (.341) and Kayla Deary (.392) have seen their batting averages hover around .400 all season.
“We are building up and gearing up for what we hope is a long playoff run,” said Rockdale Coach Amanda Keen. “We want to break through area and keep on going.”
The Lady Tigers defeated District 27A champion and No. 9 ranked Somerville 7-6 Tuesday night at the Softball Complex.