K’Leigh Arredondo and the Lady Wranglers had barely stepped off the diamond after another set of wins Saturday at the OC Softball Complex, but quickly it seemed quite clear that their focus had already shifted away from the day’s victories.
As Arredondo stood outside the home dugout just after she and her teammates built on their perfect conference record with another pair of dominant performances, the third baseman couldn’t help but immediately look ahead.
The Odessa College softball team had just completed a weekend of sweep of Luna Community College with 13-0 and 10-5 wins Saturday, but the Lady Wranglers had already turned their attention to next weekend — and to next weekend’s opponent.
“We feel great going into conference 12-0, but we know it’s going to be tough against Midland next weekend,” she said.
Yes, No. 13 Odessa College won twice Saturday to move to 26-9 overall and 12-0 in the WJCAC, but to the Lady Wranglers that only set the stage for a clash next week with a fellow unbeaten in conference play in No. 5 Midland College.
“It was all about taking care of business, just wrapping it up, getting our at-bats in and worrying about Midland next weekend,” Lady Wranglers first baseman Taylor Fogle said.
And Odessa College did do just that Saturday in another set of business-like wins over Luna (11-24, 3-9), to go along with a pair of run-rule wins over Luna from Friday at 11-0 and 8-0.
Odessa College ended Friday’s opener in five innings, too. Fogle’s two-run RBI double in the bottom of the first inning helped the Lady Wranglers take an early 4-0 lead and take control on the scoreboard. Fogle then sent out a three-run home run in the bottom of the third to bat in five of OC’s 13 runs in the win.
Veronica Garcia and Clarissa Gonzales gave up just three hits combined in the circle while sharing pitches in the shutout.
In the day’s finale, Luna pushed across its first runs of the weekend in the first and second innings, then drove in three runs in a big top of the third to take a 5-3 lead over the Lady Wranglers after two and a half innings.
But Odessa College bounced right back in the bottom of the third to tie it, and then, in the bottom of the fourth, Fogle’s solo homer started a three-run rally that put the Lady Wranglers back in front.
After taking over for Dani Leitha and Brittany Kennett in the circle in the top of the third, Winter Ridgeway didn’t allow another run after that third as the Lady Wranglers held on for the series sweep.
“We just had to come in strong with our bats— and then Winter came in and just threw a great game,” Fogle said.
Odessa College head coach Karina Cannon said she saw her team battle complacency early in that series finale, after the Lady Wranglers run-ruled Luna in the first three games of the weekend.
“We get complacent and we kind of sit back on our heels and just think things are going to happen in our favor,” Cannon said. “It was a good example for the girls to realize that you can’t just ease up.
“I’m glad it happened today and they had to take that as a learning curve, when we’re going into this week to prepare for Midland and know that we can’t do that, especially on a team like them.”
Odessa College and Midland College both sit atop the WJCAC standings, both holding perfect 12-0 records in conference. Midland College is 27-6 overall.
“Midland is always a great rival and a strong team. We are prepared for that,” Cannon said.
“At the same time, we just still need to focus on our job and how we play softball, because it shouldn’t matter who we take the field with. We’ve just got to play the same way every time.”
Next weekend’s rivalry series will open with a doubleheader at the OC Softball Complex on Friday before the scene shifts to the Lady Chaps Softball Field in Midland for another doubleheader Saturday.
“It’ll be a pretty big series, but we’ll just take it one game at a time,” Arredondo said.