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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Odessa High secures second seed with run-rule victory over Permian - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Odessa High secures second seed with run-rule victory over Permian

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2019 11:15 pm

There were plenty of opportunities for both the Odessa High and Permian softball teams to make a statement in the District 2-6A regular-season finale. 

The Lady Bronchos took advantage of those chances, riding a fast start, combined with early Permian mishaps, to run away with a 14-3 victory in five innings Friday night at the Ratliff Softball Complex.

The victory clinched the No. 2 seed for the Lady Bronchos (25-7 overall, 6-4 district), who will meet El Paso Franklin in the bi-district round next week.

That best-of-3 games bi-district series will start at 8 p.m. CDT on April 25 at El Paso Franklin and then continue at 11 a.m. on April 27 at the Ratliff Softball Complex. A third game, if necessary, would follow Game 2.

The Lady Panthers (19-11-2, 5-5) finished tied for third place with Midland Lee. After losing a coin flip, Permian is the No. 4 seed and will face El Paso Montwood.

“I knew that we were capable of this kind of performance,” Odessa High head coach Rachel Pena said. “This was the kind of team that we felt we had starting the season and it definitely feels good to be us again.”

The game started off in a flurry in the top of the first inning as the first two batters for Odessa High reached on errors.

Leadoff hitter Alyssa Deanda laid down a bunt and was safe on a throwing error. Skylar Herrera reached safely when a throw was wide of first, allowing Deanda to race around and score the game’s first run.

Kaylean Ayala and Emily Salgado both walked to load the bases, with Noeli Suarez and Abigale Rayos each following with RBI singles to push the lead to 3-0.

That loaded the bases and set the stage for the strangest play of the game.   

A pop fly from Christabelle Aguirre was caught at first base for the out. All three base runners found themselves in a jam after tagging up.

Finally, after trying to record an out on Rayos at first, Salgado saw her chance and raced down the third-base line, just beating the throw from Permian first baseman Shadie Davis to up the lead to 4-0.

Suarez and Rayos moved up 60 feet and a sacrifice fly by Pearl Marquez drove in Suarez to cap off the scoring in a wild first inning for the Lady Bronchos.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to take advantage of,” Pena said. “I thought the girls were really locked in and ready to play and they showed it.”

The Lady Panthers mustered a response in the bottom of the inning with solo home run from Hanna Hetherington but were unable to get anything more.

Odessa High would continue its hot start offensively scoring two runs in the second in with sacrifice fly by Salgado and an RBI single from Suarez.

The Lady Bronchos stayed aggressive and continued to capitalize on mistakes.

After an RBI double from Ayala made it 8-1 in the third, a wild pitch to Salgado led to two more runs coming in to score.

Odessa High put the exclamation point on in the fourth as Marquez hit a solo home run to center field followed by a three-run blast by Herrera later in the inning.

The Lady Panthers scored once in both the fourth and fifth innings, one on a double steal in the fourth and a Davis solo home run in the fifth.

Despite that offense, the deficit proved to be too much to overcome.

“I thought we were completely ready to play but we just had too many defensive mishaps, especially in the first inning,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “Our team still stayed in the game and fought and that’s all I can ask of them.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

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