Several players on the Odessa High softball team have been through this process before.
Less than a week separating the Lady Bronchos from the start of District 2-6A play, they’re clamping down — trying to be the best version of themselves.
Odessa High took two small steps to reaching that goal Thursday, downing Stephenville and Dumas at The Corral as a part of the ECISD Softball Tournament.
The Lady Bronchos downed the Honeybees 6-3, and then followed it up with an 18-1 run-rule victory over the Demonettes.
“We’re always trying to practice a little plate discipline and I think when we’re focused, we do a really good job,” Odessa High head coach Rachel Pena said. “That was our goal today and I thought we did it pretty well.”
With Odessa High’s district opener at home against Midland High Tuesday fast approaching, the Lady Bronchos know their tournament schedule will act as six direct dress rehearsals.
“Coach Pena always talks about playing all seven, that’s what we’re working towards,” Odessa High junior shortstop Skylar Herrera said. “The teams we played today, they gave it their all, so we’re just trying to match their effort and give it our all too.”
Odessa High (10-2-1) started the tournament against Stephenville, which took third place at last years’ event.
Herrera went 3-for-3 in the game with a home run, a stolen base and three runs scored to lead her team offensively. In the circle, Pearl Marquez struck out seven.
Marquez struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning to close out the victory after the Honeybees’ started to pick up a little momentum. After Odessa High gave up a double and had a throwing error, Marquez retired the last three batters of the game.
Pena commended Marquez for settling down and getting the Lady Bronchos out of a possible jam.
After a 20-minute break, Odessa High got back on the field to take on Dumas and didn’t waste any time putting runs on the scoreboard.
The Lady Bronchos scored six runs in the bottom of the first on Sierra Camacho’s three-run home run to center field and a Myka High double, where a Demonettes’ fielding error allowed the bases to be cleared.
Camacho also homered in the second inning to nearly the same spot as the Lady Bronchos’ sophomore slugger went 0-for-3 against Stephenville and has happy to quickly get her groove back.
Dumas chose to intentionally walk Camacho in her only other plate appearance of the game.
“My teammates picked me up, told me not to get down on myself and so I just went up there more relaxed,” Camacho said about her two home runs.
After a scoreless third inning, the Odessa High lineup generated 11 runs in the fourth to end the game. Just one of 12 Lady Bronchos’ batters in the inning made an out, with Christabelle Aguirro ending the contest with a home run to left-center field.
Pena liked what she saw.
“We talked about staying focused and having good at-bats and adjusting to pitchers — that’s what we’re going to have to do Tuesday, so we’re trying to practice it this weekend,” Pena said.
Odessa High’s tournament schedule continues with games against Snyder, Shallowater, Plainview and Big Spring.
“We’re just trying to work out the few little kinks we have and just keep working on staying strong,” Herrera said about her team’s goal for the rest of the tournament.
With District 2-6A competition right in front of them, the Lady Bronchos hope to remove as many of those flaws as possible.
“That’s the one thing I know about district is you never know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to need to do, so just kind of preparing for everything,” Pena said.
Thurday, at Ratliff Softball Complex
Stephenville 002 000 1 — 3 3 2
Odessa High. 102 021 x — 6 8 0
Julia Flores and Katie McIrvin. Pearl Marquez and Christabelle Aguirro. W — Maruqez. L — Flores. 2B — Stephenville: Jessica Ebeling. HR — Skylar Herrera.
Dumas……….. 010 0 — 1 3 1
Odessa High. 610 11 — 18 14 0
Destiny Salidvar, Megan Trujillo (4) and Syndey Jinkins. Laisha Ramos and Myka High. W — Ramos. L — Salidvar. 2B — Dumas: Brianna Chacon, Sydney Jinkins; Odessa High: SKylar Herrera (2), Myka High. HR — Sierra Camacho (2), Naeli Suarez, Christabelle Aguirro.
Records — Odessa High 10-2-1