Clear Springs’ defensive lapses and Alvin’s efficient scoring was too much for the Chargers on a gusty Friday evening, as they fell 3-0 to the Lady Jackets on the road.
“It just goes back to doing your job,” Clear Springs head coach Jennifer Knight said. “You have to do your job and make sure you’re in the game.”
Fielding errors and some good old fashioned small ball saw Alvin get its first run across home plate in the bottom of the first.
Freshman right fielder Mindy Matthews and junior center fielder Shae Montemayor started the frame by reaching on back-to-back fielding errors. Matthews stole second base during Montemayor’s at-bat, and both runners moved into scoring position on senior shortstop Clarissa Barron’s sacrifice bunt. Senior first baseman Grace Coffelt lifted an RBI sac fly to right field for the run.
The Lady Jackets tacked a run onto their lead in the bottom of the fourth, once again helped by a Chargers miscue.
Junior third baseman Mary Pourcio led off with a single and was then moved to second base on a sac bunt from sophomore catcher Shelby Stone. Pourcio then took off to steal third and an errant throw on the play allowed her to round third and score.
Alvin continued its efficient scoring in the bottom of the fifth to go up 3-0. Montemayor led off with a single, moved to second on a Barron sac bunt, and moved to third on a passed ball. Coffelt’s RBI single dropped into right field brought Montemayor home.
The Chargers missed out on a promising scoring opportunity in the top of the third when speedy sophomore shortstop Demi Elder blooped a double into shallow left field with one out, but was stranded there.
After that, Alvin’s starting pitcher retired the final 14 Clear Springs batters in order en route to a complete-game, two-hit shutout victory in the circle. Aguirre struck out eight batters and walked none.
“She’s a great pitcher, but we just haven’t been doing our job,” Knight said. “We’ve got to put the ball on the ground and make some plays, especially with the wind the way it is tonight. You’ve got to be able to put the ball on the ground and do a better job at the plate adjusting to a good pitcher.”
Senior designated player Maya Casanova had Clear Springs’ only other base hit on a two-out single in the top of the second, and sophomore center fielder Jenna Bell also reached base in the top of the second, getting hit by a pitch with one out.
In the bottom of the third, Clear Springs managed to escape a jam when freshman left fielder Chloe Foster led off with a single and Matthews followed by working a walk. A sac bunt from Montemayor put both runners in scoring position with one out.
But, Chargers freshman starting pitcher Emma Strood induced a pop-up to first base and a strikeout to escape the inning without further damage.
Strood picked up the tough luck loss, surrendering just one earned run in seven innings. Strood gave up six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Clear Springs (5-5) return to action 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Clear Lake.