Pollock pitching puts Lady Tiger bats out of business

Rockdale season ends in quarterfinals
BY MARIE BAKKEN


Kayleigh Montelongo (9) consols Alyssa Wallis after the Lady Tigers’ season ending loss to Pollock Central in the quarterfinals. 
Reporter/Marie Bakken Kayleigh Montelongo (9) consols Alyssa Wallis after the Lady Tigers’ season ending loss to Pollock Central in the quarterfinals. Reporter/Marie Bakken In the end, it came down to the basics of softball: hitting versus pitching.

On this particular occasion, pitching won out.

Pollock Central pitcher Katelyn Boles did not allow Rockdale to reach home plate even once and limited them to five hits over two games as the Lady Dogs swept the Lady Tigers out of the playoffs, 6-0, 2-0 in the Class 3A, Region III quarterfinal round.

Pollock Central (31-5) will face the Columbia Roughnecks in the regional semifinals. Columbia beat Huffman Hargrave in their quarterfinal match up.

The Lady Tigers end this resurgent season at 21-7, the best for the program since 2006, the last time they reached the quarterfinals.

The sweep was the first backto back losses for Rockdale on the season.

“ This has been an amazing season. I could have not asked for a better group to work with,” said Rockdale ‘s Amanda Keen, who just completed her third year as Lady Tiger softball coach. “We had several opportunities to shut down during the season but the girls keep working hard and pushed through. The fact that we fought and stayed in is what I am most proud of with this group.”


Outfielder Morgan Fischer (left) and second baseman Emily McCoy hustle for a ball in the Lady Tigers’ loss to Pollock Central in the regional quarterfinals. 
Reporter/Marie Bakken Outfielder Morgan Fischer (left) and second baseman Emily McCoy hustle for a ball in the Lady Tigers’ loss to Pollock Central in the regional quarterfinals. Reporter/Marie Bakken The game changed venues three times, from original site Madisonville, to Klein and then because of inclement weather, became a home-and-home series.

In the clincher in Rockdale, it took just one inning for Pollock Central to put Rockdale’s season to an end.

The Lady Dogs scored four runs on five hits in the top of the fourth to go up 4-0.

Jenna Roland opened the at bat with a single to center field then Katelyn Boles followed that up with a single to almost the same exact spot.

Krissy Capps belted a triple to right field and then Haley Clark hit a double down the right field line that fell just fair.

Taylor Dukes reached base on a short bunt—she beat the throw to first.

Central would add another run in each of the fifth and seventh innings to clinch the 6-0 win.

Rockdale’s defense looked very sharp the first three innings, allowing just two Central base runners. As the game went on, the Lady Tigers would commit five errors.

Rockdale had no answer at the plate or on the scoreboard. Senior Lisa Vest recorded Rockdale’s only hit on the afternoon when she ripped a single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Lady Tigers had just four base runners the entire game.

On the mound, the sophomore Boles fanned nine Rockdale batters and walked just two.

For the Lady Tigers, Kayleigh Montelongo (20-7) fanned just two Lady Dog batters and gave up no walks.

Boles, Roland and Capps each went two-for-three at the plate. Central ended the game with 10

LADY TIGER STATISTICS

Hitting (at bats-hits-avg)—Montelongo 26-58 .448; Mireles 25-62 .403; Deary 26-65 .400; Talley 24-64 .375; Fischer 19-50 .380; Wright 6-16 .375; Boyd 24-65 .369; Vest 24-68 .352; Wages 20-56 .357; Wallis 18-57 .315, McCoy 15-48 .312; Eubanks 1-5 .200. Runs—Mireles 23, Boyd 17. Doubles—Mireles 8, Talley 7. Triples—Talley 4, Mireles 3. Home runs—Talley 4, Deary 2. RBI—Talley 14, Montelongo 12. Steals—Mireles 9, Montelongo 6. Pitching—Montelongo 20-7 1.59; Fischer 1-0 5.00. hits off Montelongo.

Opener

It was more of the same in the opener in Pollock, with Rockdale managing just four hits off Boles.

It wasn’t like the Lady Tigers didn’t have ample opportunity to score, they left seven baserunners stranded, including two each in the second and third innings.

They also got the leadoff runner on base in the second, third and sixth innings to no avail.

Montelongo allowed just five hits but a timely double by Capps in the second and a Rockdale error in the third produced Central’s two runs.

Deary went 2-for-3 with Rockdale’s only extra base hit, a double in the second where she was left stranded.

Boles struck out eight batters, including four of the last six batters and the final three in a row.

Before being shut out, the Lady Tigers had won seven in a row and eight-of-nine and outscored their opponents 48-19 during the streak.

The Lady Tigers lose four key seniors, including Montelongo who leaves as the winningest pitcher in school history with 51 victories.

They lose four-year starter Mireles, Vest and Morgan Fischer as well.

“We broke records and got past area which has haunted over this program since 2005.” Keen said. “I am very proud of them. As for the seniors, they will all be missed in more ways than one.

“Obviously they will be missed on the field but their personalities and their heart will be missed during practice, bus rides and in the girls program.”

Second game Pollock Central 6, Rockdale 0 Central 000 410 1—6 10 0 Rockdale 000 000 0—1 1 5 Brooks and Boles; Wages and Montelongo. W-Boles. L-Montelongo (20-7). 2B-Boles, Roland (PC). 3B-Capps (PC). Records-Central 31-5-1, Rockdale 21-7.

Highlights: Central-Boles 2-3, 2B; Roland 2-3, 2B; Capps 2-3, 3B, 2B. Rockdale-Vest 1-3.

First game Pollock Central 2, Rockdale 0 Rockdale 000 000 0—0 4 1 Central 011 000 X—2 5 0

Wages and Montelongo; Brooks and Boles. W-Boles. L-Montelongo (20-6). 2B-Deary (R), Capps, Boles (PC). Records— Rockdale 21-6, Central 30-5-1. T-1:51.

Highlights: Deary 2-3 2B.


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