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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Permian converts on chances to pull away from Monahans - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Permian converts on chances to pull away from Monahans

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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 8:12 pm

There were plenty of chances for both the Permian and Monahans softball teams to bring runs across the plate.

In the end, it was the Lady Panthers who converted more of them, defeating the Lady Loboes 13-4 Tuesday in a nondistrict softball game at the Ratliff Softball Complex.

“I thought our team was really resilient,” Permian coach Angela Arebalos said. “Even when things were going wrong, we still found a way out and just took it one hit at a time against a great team.”

Aliyah Lara led the way for Permian (7-7 overall), driving in three runs and recording three hits in the victory. Lara finished 2 for 3 with a two-home run in the first inning and the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Makayla Gandara and Arianna Ybarra broke the game open in the sixth for Permian with a pair of three-run home runs as part of a seven-run frame. Gandara finished 2 for 2 with four RBIs, while Ybarra was 1 for 4.

Hailey Merrick and Taryn Griner each went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer for Monahans (16-3-1). Both connected in the fourth inning as Monahans tied the game at 4-4.

The Lady Loboes, however, were unable to convert other chances they had throughout the game. Monahans left 11 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded three separate times without scoring a run.

“We just made some little mental errors that turned out to be big,” Monahans coach Lindsie Swarb said. “We can’t give any extra bases to a team like Permian because they’re going to take advantage of those mistakes. We also left 11 runners on base and you can’t do that and expect to win.”

One of those situations came in the top of the first inning when the Lady Loboes had the first three runners reach safely. Permian pitcher Alexis Belen struck out the next three to keep it scoreless.

Lara got the Lady Panthers on the board with her home run and after a scoreless second inning, the Lady Loboes once again loaded the bases in the third. Permian had to get out of this jam with a different pitcher after Belen left the game with an ankle injury early in the frame.

Mariah Rey took over, getting out of the inning with some defensive help as left fielder Ybarra made a catch against the fence for the final out. Rey went five innings for the win, striking out four.

The Lady Panthers also got some defensive help in the second inning with a jumping catch from center fielder Tiggy Rayos for the third out.

“Those two plays helped shift the momentum for our offense,” Arebalos said. “It was a game changer for us and we rolled with it and capitalized on them.”

The Lady Panthers added to their lead in the third, scoring two runs after a Monahans error in the infield.

The Lady Loboes erased the deficit in the fourth with two swings of the bat from Merrick and Griner, but Permian regained the lead in the bottom of the frame with Lara’s sacrifice fly. Gandara added to the lead shortly afterwards with a two-out RBI single for the Lady Panthers.

Monahans once again loaded the bases in the fifth but Rey recorded two groundouts and a strikeout to keep the frame clean.

The Permian softball team will not play at Bushland on Saturday as scheduled. The Lady Panthers will instead close nondistrict play starting Thursday at the Rattler Spring Break Classic in San Marcos. The tourney replaces the season-opening Waco tournament, which was canceled because of weather, on the Permian schedule.

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