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Johnna Sturm’s homer lifts Lady Bears over Sealy

 
Johnna Sturm’s homer  lifts Lady Bears over Sealy
Players and coaches from La Vernia celebrate their 4-3 area championship win over Sealy last Friday. The Lady Bears will now advance to the region quarterfinals where they will face Navarro.

Thanks to a great all-around team effort, as well as some late-game heroics from senior Johnna Sturm, the La Vernia Lady Bear softball team knocked off the Sealy Lady Tigers, 4-3, to win the area championship and advance to the regional quarterfinals.

The teams met in Cuero on May 2 for a single-game playoff, and the Lady Bears were listed as the home team. The Lady Tigers went to the plate to get things started, and scored the first run of the game to put La Vernia in a hole. The Lady Bears came right back in the bottom of the first inning, however, and scored a run of their own. Kara Myrick hit an infield single to get on base, and then moved over to second when Sturm singled to left field. Myrick stole third, and then scored for La Vernia when Savannah Martinez grounded out to second base.

Neither team scored in the second inning, but La Vernia went on top in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs. Myrick hit a two-out single to right field to get on base, and then moved over to third when Sturm doubled to left field. Martinez then doubled to center field, allowing both Myrick and Sturm to come around for a 3-1 advantage.

Sealy got 1 run back in the top of the fourth inning, but continued to trail until the Lady Tigers tied things up in the top of the sixth inning. La Vernia threatened in the bottom of the sixth, but left two runners stranded as they moved into the seventh inning.

The Lady Tigers started the seventh out by putting a runner on base, but the Lady Bear defense did its job, and got out of the inning without giving up a run.

As the game moved into the bottom of the seventh inning, the score remained tied at 3-3. Alison Saenz grounded out to third base, and then Myrick popped out to left field. The Lady Tiger defense was thinking about extra innings, but Sturm had other ideas. The senior drove the first pitch sent her way deep over the center-field fence for a two-out home run to win the game.

“JoJo’s walk-off home run was an amazing ending to a well-fought game, and every softball player’s dream!” said Head Coach Michelle Uribe. “What a blessing it was to be a part of her dream coming true.

“Sealy was a worthy opponent,” Uribe continued. “The game was filled with intense back-and-forth competition. I’m so proud of the girls fighting hard all the way to the end.”

The Lady Bears will now advance to the region quarterfinals, where they will face the Lady Panthers of Navarro in a best-of-three series. The first game will be played Friday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at Navarro High School. Game two will be played Saturday, May 10, at 11 a.m. at the La Vernia ISD Sports Complex. If a game three is needed, it will be played following game two.

“Navarro will be a tough opponent,” Uribe said. “We will have to play our best and give it all we’ve got. It will be a fun and exciting series to watch.”

Game stats

La Vernia def. Sealy, 4-3

Lady Bears: Runs: Kara Myrick-2, Johnna Sturm-2 RBIs: Savannah Martinez-3, Sturm-1. Hits: Myrick-3, Sturm-3 (1 home run, 1 double), Lauren Burkett-3, Martinez-1 (double), Morgan Mikes-1, Annie Roswell-1 (double). Stolen bases: Myrick-1, Sturm-1. Pitching: Mikes-1 hit; Cummings-2 hits, 1 earned run; Mackinley Zimmerle-1 strikeout, 2 hits.

 
 
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