Pitch for pitch, Permian’s Miranda Martinez and Wolfforth Frenship’s Torrey Hogan showed early on Tuesday night that hits were going to be at a premium and runs nearly impossible to come by at the Ratliff Softball Complex.
Both right-handers dominated the early innings, worked out of a jam in the middle and then pushed each other into bonus softball.
In the end, it was the Lady Panthers who generated just enough offense to send everyone home.
Gail Pawlik’s bloop single to left field with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in teammate Hunter Harkrider from third to lift Permian to a 1-0 victory against the Lady Tigers in District 2-6A play.
Harkrider was 2 for 3, with a triple, on the night to lead the Lady Panthers offense, while Martinez was dominant in the circle, finishing with eight strikeouts while allowing just five hits, all singles, in a 139-pitch performance.
Monique Pando added a double for Permian (11-6-1 overall, 1-1 District 2-6A).
Hogan struck out nine in the loss as Frenship dropped to 11-9, 1-1.
Harkrider started the winning rally with a single back up the middle and then moved to second on a stolen base with Martinez at the plate.
Choosing not to walk the Lady Panthers’ cleanup hitter proved costly as Martinez laid down a perfect bunt back to the circle and by the time Hogan was able to field the ball, she had reach first safely, while Harkrider advanced to third base.
Martinez stole second on the next pitch and then Pawlik hit her flair for the game winner.
“I’m so proud of them and the way they played tonight,” Permian coach Kristin Williams said. “They needed a game like this after the loss the other night to Midland Lee and they came out and did everything right.”
Martinez, a senior, had some extra motivation heading into the game. The last time she faced the Lady Tigers at the Ratliff Softball Complex, Frenship was able to score a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win a best-of-3 area playoff series against the Lady Panthers.
“Oh, yeah, that was definitely on my mind today,” Martinez said after the game. “It’s always going to be there when we play them, so I used it today.”
Through the first four innings, Martinez had faced the minimum 12 hitters, while Hogan saw 14 Lady Panthers come to the plate.
In the fifth inning, however, both teams had a chance to take control of the game.
Keeley Ethcison led off the Lady Tigers’ half of the inning with a single to left, Frenship’s first hit of the game.
One out later, Martinez plunked Mackenzie Ramirez in the left shoulder, with Hogan following with a single to center field to load the bases.
After a brief conversation with herself behind the circle, Martinez came back to strike out Atiana Adame and then get Daytona Austin to ground out to end the threat.
“I thought that Miranda did a great job tonight,” Williams said. “She took everything we’ve been working on with her and just pitched and it was fun to watch.”
Permian’s fifth inning started with Pando’s double to right-center field, followed by Rylee Day reaching on an error to put runners at first and second.
Hogan then help herself when she got Kelsi McCall to line back to the circle and threw to second for the double play. It was a huge play for the Lady Tigers as Permian’s Karisma Aguilar singled to move Day into scoring position, but Hogan retired the side on a fly ball to right.
In the sixth, with one out, Harkrider tripled but was stranded when Hogan got Martinez to pop out to second base and then Pawlik fouled out to first.