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Lady Bears suffer 1-run loss in area championship

Lady Bears suffer 1-run loss in area championship
Sage Martinez (12) of La Vernia gets the lead runner at second base and looks to first for the double play during a recent playoff game. The Lady Bears ended their season with a close 10-9 loss to Liberty Hill for the area championship. ANTONIO MORANO/

SAN MARCOS After a strong district showing and easy 10-0 bi-district win over Somerset, the Lady Bear softball team traveled to San Marcos last Thursday night to take on the Liberty Hill Lady Panthers for the area championship. La Vernia gave it a good effort and made it close, but eventually fell in the one-game playoff by the final score of 10-9.

The Lady Bears started strong, scoring a run in the top of the first inning, and the ladies held a 1-0 lead through two. La Vernia got its bats going again in the top of the third with 3 additional runs, and led 4-0 going into the bottom of the inning. Liberty Hill got things heated up in the third as well, though, and scored 3 runs to make it a 4-3 contest. Then, in the top of the fourth, La Vernia stretched its lead with 2 more runs, but Liberty Hill scored 3 in the bottom half of the inning to knot things up at 6-all.

The Lady Bears had their worst inning of the night in the fifth, as the La Vernia sticks yielded no runs in the top of the inning, and the gloves gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the frame. Liberty Hill took its first lead of the game at 10-6, and the pressure was put on the Lady Bears to make something happen quickly.

La Vernia scored 1 run in the top of the sixth inning to make it a 10-7 game, and held Liberty Hill in the bottom of the sixth. La Vernia had just one shot left to make it happen, and needed 3 runs in the seventh to keep their hopes alive. Things looked good at one point, and the Lady Bears scored 2 runs, but the final out soon followed. La Vernia was just 1 run short, as the team fell by the final score of 10-9.

Sage Martinez led the team at the plate, as she went 3 for 3 with a home run, a triple, and 3 RBIs. Sturm also had a good night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI. Conner, Rios, Cummings, Oehlke, and Saenz all had hits during the game, and Conner and Cummings each had an RBI. Conner, Rios, Megan Schocke, and Saenz all had stolen bases, as well.

The Lady Bears end their season with an overall record of 19-15. The team finished second in the district and won the bi-district title.

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