HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Castillo, Deanda help lead Odessa High past Midland Lee

It didn’t start well for the Odessa High softball team Friday night.

The Lady Bronchos, however, finished just fine.

After watching Midland Lee score a solo run in the top of the first inning, Odessa High tied the game in the third and then broke it open in the fifth and sixth en route to 9-1 victory in District 2-6A play at the Ratliff Softball Complex.

Elva Castillo hit a pair of home runs and Alyssa Deanda contributed two doubles for the Lady Bronchos (19-5-1 overall, 5-2 in district), who remained in a first-place tie with Midland High and Wolfforth Frenship.

“It took us a little while to get our bats going,” Odessa High coach Rachel Pena said. “And Midland Lee came out hitting the ball well and was really aggressive.

“And I think that when Elva hit that home run in the third inning to tie the game, everyone relaxed and started to hit, too.”

Kirklynd Newsom and Alaina Marquez each had doubles for the Lady Rebels (18-8, 2-5) in the loss.

Midland Lee started the scoring in the first inning, taking advantage of some well-placed hits against Odessa High starter Sierra Camacho.

Shelby Olivas led off the game with a single to left field that landed just in front of Lady Bronchos’ left fielder Aleiza Garza.

Abby Jordan then blooped a single to center field to put runners on first and second and both advanced on a wild pitch.

Camacho struck out Sarah Welsh, but Newsom was able to drive home Olivas with a ground out to shortstop and the 1-0 lead.

That’s how it stayed until the bottom of the third inning, with Castillo at the plate for the Lady Bronchos.

Swinging at the first pitch from Midland Lee’s Melanie Marin, Castillo drove it well over the left-center field fence to tie the game and give the Odessa High all the momentum, which it took advantage of it in the fifth inning.

Deanda led off the inning with her first double off the centerfield fence and Castillo reached on a wild pitch on a third strike to put runners at first and third. Cami Deanda reached on an infield single to plate her sister and then, with one out, Skylar Herrera singled to center field to drive in Castillo and Cami Deanda.

Herrera went from first to third on Deja Luna’s single to right field and then scored on Andrea Molinar’s single up the middle to break the game open.

“I thought that Sierra pitched well in the first two innings, we just didn’t play very good defense behind her,” said Castillo, who came on in relief in the third inning. “This was a good win for us because Midland Lee always has a good team and they came out hitting the ball and put us on our heels.

“And they never stopped, all the way to the end, keeping us on our toes. But we have really been working hard on our hitting and it’s been paying off for us.”

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide