Considering how competitive District 2-6A softball is, no lead is ever safe.
With a perfect record on the line, the pressure has been building up for the Permian Lady Panthers.
On Tuesday night, Permian (21-0 overall, 3-0 in District 2-6A) held on to defeat the Midland High Lady Bulldogs (15-8-2, 1-2), 11-8, at the Ratliff Softball Complex.
The win was a major accomplishment for the Lady Panthers considering Midland High has won the last two district titles.
“We always need pressure situations,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “Our whole district is good, so beating a team like that is just a privilege, and they’re a fantastic team.
“We just came out on top because we hit the ball better. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
The Permian offense had a slow start after their first six batters were retired in order.
Midland High took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI double by Reagan Keithley and an RBI single by Yakelin Vidana.
In the bottom of the third, Permian’s Hunter Harkrider sparked a four-run inning by hitting a three-run home run to give the Lady Panthers a 4-2 lead.
Vidana and Abby Sanchez tied the game up for the Lady Bulldogs with a pair of solo home runs in the top of the fourth.
Permian rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Alexis Morales delivered a clutch three-run home run in the inning.
Down 8-4, Midland High scored a run in the top of the sixth, but Permian responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Midland High scored three runs in the top of the seventh as Rani Guerra hit a two-RBI double. The spark ended on a ground ball to short that resulted in a fielder’s choice for the final out.
Permian’s Hannah Banker finished 2 for 3 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI, while Harkrider finished 2 for 4 with a single, home run and four RBIs.
Aliyah Lara went 2 for 3 with two singles.
Morales threw 6.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and striking out 11 batters. At the plate, she finished 3 for 3 with a single, double, home run and three RBIs.
Even though Permian did not play to their full capabilities, they still managed to stay composed and score when they needed to the most.
“It definitely was exciting, but we played a little bit down,” Morales said. “Other than that, I felt like we did really good. We held ourselves together. We came together as a team and we scored.
“We did what we had to do. I wasn’t at my best and my team backed me up, and that’s really what I needed. That home run was my first one.”
Permian hosts Amarillo Tascosa at 7 p.m. Friday.
>>> Follow Peter Dindinger on Twitter @OA_PDindinger
MHS…………… 020 201 300 — 8 10 3
Permian……… 004 403 x00 — 11 14 3
Alli Monarrez and Yakelin Vidana. Alexis Morales, Mariah Rey (7) and Hannah Banker. W — Morales. L — Monarrez. 2B — MHS: R. Guerra; R. Keithley. Permian: H. Banker (2); A. Morales. HR — MHS: A. Sanchez; Y. Vidana. Permian: H. Harkrider; A. Morales.
Records — Permian (21-0, 3-0); Midland High (15-8-2, 1-2)