GALVESTON – Things got off to a shaky start for both Galveston O’Connell College Prep, as well as San Marcos Baptist Academy Friday afternoon in the Bi-District round of the TAPPS 4A softball playoffs. The game was delayed over 30 minutes as the home-plate umpire thought the game started at 6 p.m. instead of the scheduled 4 p.m. start.When the game finally got underway the Lady Bears quickly threatened with runners at second and third, with just one out. Chloe Roacha led off the game with a walk and Morgan Martin was hit by a pitch.
The two Lady Bears advanced a base each on Lix Banks’ ground out to second.
SMBA was not able to take advantage, in the top of the first inning, and things just went downhill from there as the Lady Bucs eliminated San Marcos Baptist 17-0 in three innings of play.
“When you face a big time program like they have you have to jump on them (early),” SMBA head softball coach Rene Natal said after the loss. “When we have runners at first and second and the heart of the order up you have to take advantage of it. It was obvious that the pitcher (Melanie Helms) was rattled, and as soon as she got out of the first inning she was calm.”
It didn’t take long for the four-time defending state champion Lady Bucs to get going offensively, in the bottom half of the inning. The first two OCP batters reached safely and then came around to score on an SMBA error and a delayed steal.
The Lady Bears quickly got two outs on a pair of infield flies, and it looked as though they were going to get out of the inning with little damage done. However, after a two-out walk the Lady Bucs went on to score nine more runs on five hits, two errors and another walk, giving OCP a demanding 11-0 lead.
“We weren’t able to make plays in the bottom half of the first inning and that’s all she wrote,” Natal said.
San Marcos Baptist had just one other baserunner the rest of the afternoon as Mel Isacis reached on a one-out walk in the top of the second, but she didn’t advance past first as the next two Lady Bears struck out and fouled out, respectively.
The Lady Bucs’ offensive onslaught continued in the bottom half of the second inning as O’Connell College Prep sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring another six runs on five hits.
OCP senior lefty Melanie Helms sent the Lady Bears down in order in the top of the third with a pair of strikeouts and a ground out to third.
It was the second straight year SMBA has been knocked out in the first round, and the second straight time from at TAPPS 4A-4 opponent. Last year it was eventual state runner-up Katy Faith West.
“Being eliminated by the best two teams in the last two years is a learning experience for us,” Natal said. “We know what we have to do, and we’ll just work harder in the off-season. We’re returning five of our six infielders and hopefully we can make that next step.”
By JASON JUMP
Photo by Jason JumpEmail | Print