RICHMOND – The George Ranch Longhorns closed out their Region III-4A best-of-three first-round softball playoff series against the Friendswood Lady Mustangs in two games, thanks to a dramatic 3-2 extra-inning win on Friday.
George Ranch struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Kayte Martinez reached base on a single to third, stole second base and scored on two errant throws by the Lady Mustangs all on the same play.
Martinez extended the lead when, after reaching with a bunt single, she pulled off a double steal along with Stephanie Money, and scored on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Emily Rimes.
Longhorn pitcher Alexis Tovar had the game in control for the first five innings, giving up just two hits before the Lady Mustangs put together a string of four consecutive singles in the top of the sixth inning, tying the game at two runs apiece.
Olivia Jackson and Haylee Barnes each singled to open the inning for the Lady Mustangs.
Brittany Woods and Courtney Weber then followed with run-scoring singles to tie the game.
Tovar was then replaced by Natasha Cabucio, who ended the Friendswood rally by retiring the next two batters.
Tovar pitched 51/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, with six strikeouts.
Cabucio finished out the game tossing 22/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out one batter.
The game remained deadlocked heading into the bottom of the eighth, when Money lead off with a sharp line drive single to center and hustled from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rimes.
Third baseman Madison McDonald drove Money in to give the run, the game and the series to the Longhorns.