LEAGUE CITY – Outstanding defense helped Clear Creek to a 1-0 win against visiting Fort Bend Austin in the opening game of their best-of-three 5A Region III first-round softball series Thursday.
Play shifts to the Austin High campus for Game 2 at 5 p.m. today. A third game will follow, if necessary.
There was little offense to be found Thursday, with the two teams combining for five hits.
Austin pitcher Sara Solis allowed just two hits and four base runners while striking out seven.
Clear Creek pushed across the game’s only run in its first trip to the plate.
Madison Wadyka reached on an error to lead off the first inning then stole second. Brittney Wingate followed with a base hit to plate Wadyka.
Solis mixed a sharp breaking ball with off-speed pitches to handcuff the Wildcats the rest of the game.
“We haven’t faced a pitcher like that, in our district or anywhere this year,” Clear Creek coach Andrea Cash said. “We’re going to have to adjust. We’ll have to go back, watch the video and see if we can put some more hits together.”
Wildcat hurler Katlyn Rivera did her job by inducing ground balls. The base runners she allowed never made it past third.
Rivera allowed three hits with three walks and one strikeout to earn the shutout victory.
Austin put together its most dangerous threat in the sixth inning, placing runners on second and third with one out and clean-up hitter Brooke Vannoy at the plate.
Clear Creek catcher Kalyn Ramber took the air out of the rally with a perfect throw to Wingate at third base to pick off Maya Thomas.
Wingate also got the Wildcats out of a third-inning jam by starting a third-to-first double play.
“We’ve run that (pickoff) play several times,” Cash said. “It wasn’t about me calling it. It was all about the throw. It was right on the money. We have a strong defense. We had great plays all the way around. You win games with great defense and pitching.”
Softball playoff schedules
Class 4A: Santa Fe vs. Lamar Consolidated
Game 1: 6:30 p.m. today at Santa Fe
Game 2: 2 p.m. Saturday at Lamar Consolidated
*Game 3: 4 p.m. Saturday at Lamar Consolidated
Class 4A: Friendswood vs. George Ranch
Game 1: George Ranch 6, Friendswood 3
Game 2: 5 p.m. today at George Ranch
*Game 3: 7 p.m. today at George Ranch
Class 4A: Texas City vs. Angleton
One-game round: Angleton 9, Texas City 3
Class 5A: Clear Falls vs. Fort Bend Travis
One-game round: 7 p.m. today at Manvel
Class 5A: Clear Creek vs. Fort Bend Austin
Game 1: Clear Creek 1, FB Austin 0
Game 2: 5 p.m. today at FB Austin
*Game 3: 7 p.m. today at FB Austin