With a competitive District 2-6A slate coming up next week, the Permian Lady Panthers softball team prepped themselves with a solid weekend of competition at the ECISD tournament.
In the final day of competition Saturday night, Permian (13-0) defeated the Fort Stockton Prowlers and the Plainview Lady Bulldogs by the scores of 8-3 and 4-3, respectively.
The Lady Panthers finished undefeated at the tourney. The Odessa High Lady Bronchos allowed just 11 runs to win the tourney. They edged out Permian by one run for the tournament title.
For Permian, they begin district with a tough game at Midland Lee at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“I think the girls always do well when they’re under a little bit of pressure,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “They handled it well when they needed to, just a couple of missed plays, but other than that they did a good job on recovering and getting back into it.”
In the first game against Fort Stockton, Permian began with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Hannah Banker belted a two-run homer, while Monique Pando had an RBI double.
Permian pitcher Alexis Morales did not allow a hit in 3 1-3 innings pitched. The Prowlers were held scoreless until the top of the fourth when they pushed a run across on a throwing error.
The Lady Panthers did all their damage in the bottom of the second. Shadie Davis hit a clutch two-run homer in the frame, while Banker tallied an RBI single.
There were three Fort Stockton batters hit by pitch in the top of the sixth, which allowed the Prowlers to tack on two runs.
Banker finished 2 for 3 with a single, homer and three RBIs. Davis tallied a double, homer, walk and two RBIs to go 2 for 2.
Permian had eight hits. The Lady Panthers pitching staff finished with a combined no-hitter.
The final game versus Plainview was a classic pitcher’s duel. Permian was held to just one hit through the first three innings.
Banker then broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff homer.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Panthers pushed across three runs to extend their lead to 4-0. Brianna Dominguez executed a squeeze bunt to drive in Aliyah Lara in the frame.
Plainview battled back in the top of the sixth. Trini Perez and Gabbie Godino drove in a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies, while Jenna Sepeda drew a bases-loaded walk.
The last minute rally ended on a ground ball to Morales with runners at the corners.
Morales, whose one of two seniors on the Permian roster, struck out six batters in six innings pitched in game two. She allowed five hits.
In game one, Morales also tallied six strikeouts.
Permian had seven hits against Plainview. Banker led the way, going 2 for 3 with a double, homer and two RBIs, while Lara finished 1 for 1 with a double and a walk.
Plainview’s starting pitcher Esmie Lucio allowed three hits in four innings pitched. She allowed one run and walked one batter.
The key for Permian as district play begins will be playing together as a team, Morales said.
“Staying together as a team and not blaming one another for our mistakes,” she said. “We’re doing pretty well at that right now.
“We’re staying together, we’re playing for ourselves pretty much and we’re hitting a lot, too. We’re gonna be unstoppable if we work together. It kind of shows us where we are as a team. I know that we can improve a lot because we’ve played way better than this before. We beat Canyon, and they’re a pretty good team. It kind of shows us that we need to step it up.”
The ECISD tourney was a good benchmark for the Lady Panthers as they got to play six games in three days.
“We’ve got a great district. Everybody’s good and in order to prepare ourselves for that we’ve got to play good teams,” Williams said. “Plainview’s a good team. We got lots of good ball in today.
“Preparing by playing better teams is kind of where we’re at. I always think that Lex (Morales) does a great job for us on the mound, so I think that she’ll even come out stronger on Tuesday. You gotta be proud of her. She’s got a lot of wins under her belt.”