The Deer Park squad seemed to be in trouble, but the girls turned the tide


BAYTOWN – It wasn’t the fact that they lost Game 2. It wasn’t the fact that they immediately gave up three runs in Game 3, and it certainly wasn’t the fact that they couldn’t fully celebrate their moms on Mother’s Day as Game 3 hangs over them.

No, something far worse made the Deer Park varsity softball team so determined and angry Monday night.

It was during those three hours that the Lady Deer was stuck on a bus one blustery Saturday night out on the East Wallisville Road. Someday maybe they’ll tell their husbands and their kids the funny story of how they spent a Saturday night as teenagers at 10pm, lightning flashing all around them, raindrops running down the windows, crammed into a yellow school bus.

Pitcher Aubrey Graham bounced back from an unforgettable first frame on Saturday to pitch six goalless innings while Hannah York and Kylie Wilson highlighted a nine-hit attack as Deer Park defeated Atascocita 10-3 to secure the storm-delayed best-of-3 regional quarterfinal series.

It took five days to play 21 innings, the last seven at Goose Creek Memorial High School, but Deer Park is alive and well and on course for another Region III Final Four.

“This is a new team today. They showed and I’m proud of them for that,” said Deer Park head coach Amy Vidal.

Atascocita, owner of 23 runs in the first 15 innings of that series, amassed four total singles in the last six frames, while Deer Park scored one in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, five in the sixth, and one in the seventh, around finish this game with ease.

Vidal may have had to use one of her rough love talks before sending Graham back there. Maybe that’s how Vidal spent some of her three hours on the bus on a Saturday night.

“We talked at length about goals and things we would do to be successful. I know she has what it takes, but mentally things aren’t always going to go your way. I felt like three runs wasn’t enough.” “but given the number of runs they had scored, I was concerned. She’s made really big progress,” said Vidal.

For the Lady Eagles, momentum began to change immediately when play resumed. With just one out and three runs already, Graham initiated a forceout at the plate, followed by a strikeout.

“I was crazy. I wasn’t having a good day. You really saw that on the hill. But when I came in today I knew everyone had my back and it made me feel a lot better and they were all there for me,” said Graham.

She faced no more than five batters in the remaining six innings Monday, over the left field wall. She came in the second frame. Not a single Atascocita batter ever reached third base. She was eliminated from the team in the third and sixth innings.

“My move really worked. He got them quite a bit and then the curveball saved me on the lefties,” said Graham.

Graham felt her effectiveness lay in knowing when and what to throw at the batter.

“I feel like knowing the hitter and knowing they can hit the softball is what matters. I’ve always had a pretty good command but I think it comes down to knowing the batsman,” Graham said.

Graham only caught his breath in the fifth half when Hannah York slung a ball over the left field fence to give Deer Park their first lead of the series since the first inning of Game 2 last Friday night.

“It was a lunatic. It’s my favorite place. I knew what I was looking for. I wasn’t deep into calculating where I was in trouble and that’s my favorite spot,” York said.

Kylie Wilson, who wants to major in business administration, was business savvy Monday night, finishing the game with three team-best RBIs after winning 2-of-5 on plate.

After a double in the third round, she made it 3-3 with a two-RBI single in the fourth round. She jumped on the first pitch she saw, making the Eagles pay for the two walks and a shortstop error that led to her plate appearance. A perfect sacrifice from Camryn Plocheck put two teammates in goal position for Wilson.

Then Deer Park sent 11 points to the plate in game six. Wilson added her third RBI with a fielder’s choice while Bryanna Fuentes fired a shot over the left fielder’s outstretched glove to increase the lead to 7-3.

Lorelei Graham hit a single in the fourth run of the inning and Julia Donnell extended the lead to 9-3 with loaded bases.

Her free pass was Deer Parks eighth since the third inning and sixth since the fourth inning.

Erin Perez’s outfield choice made for an undeserved run in the seventh round to set the final score.

Source link

Like it? Share with your friends!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *