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Lady Bears win district with victory over Somerset

Lady Bears win district with victory over Somerset
MARK WALTON/ Rene Cummings delivers a pitch during the Lady Bears’ thrilling extra-innings win over Somerset last Friday evening.

LA VERNIA With a huge win over Sam Houston, and an exciting, narrow, extra-inning victory over Somerset, the regular season has come to an end for the La Vernia Lady Bear softball team.

The Lady Bears played at Sam Houston April 16, but barely broke a sweat, defeating the Lady Canes 17-0 in a game shortened to just three innings.

Patience at the plate and good base running led to a 10-run explosion in the top of the first inning. Alisen Saenz drew a walk to start the game, and Savannah Martinez took her first pitch into centerfield for a double. Saenz soon ran in for the first run of the game, and Sturm drew a walk. Martinez stole home to make it 2-0, and Sturm scored on an error to make it 3-0. Rebecka Rios singled the short stop, while Kenzie Conner drew a walk to keep things rolling.

Rios eventually stole home, and Vicki Camacho singled to center to score Conner. Cummings was caught trying to steal home, but Morgan Mikes ripped a single to centerfield and moved Camacho over to third. Camacho eventually scored on a passed ball, and the score was 6-0 with just one out. Kara Myrick singled to score Mikes from third, and Saenz drew a walk on her second at-bat of the inning. Myrick stole home to make it an 8-0 game, while Martinez hit a 2-run homer for a 10-0 Lady Bear lead at the end of the first inning.

Unfortunately for Sam Houston, the Lady Canes went three-up, three down during their first at-bat, and once again had to face the tenacious Lady Bear bats.

Conner and Cummings drew walks to start the second inning, and Camacho loaded up the bags as she reached first base on an error. Mikes then singled to center to score Conner, and the bags remained loaded. Cummings came around for the Lady Bears’ second run of the inning, and Myrick kept things going with an infield single. Saenz walked, Martinez doubled, and Sturm reached first base on an error. By the time the dust settled at the midway point of the second inning, it was La Vernia on top, 17-0.

The sides were quickly retired in the bottom of the second, and through the entire third inning. With a 17-run lead after three, however, officials called the game by virtue of the mercy rule.

The Lady Bears were back at home to close out the regular season April 19, and what a finale it was.

Somerset looked good in the top of the first inning, hitting three singles to threaten early. The Lady Bears caught a Bulldog runner at the plate, though, and managed two additional outs in the field.

In the bottom of the first, Sage Martinez made a statement as she went yard on a 2-2 pitch, making it a 1-0 game. Savannah Martinez then singled and Sturm drew a walk. A passed ball moved the runners into scoring position, and then Rios grounded out to second, allowing Savannah to score and Sturm to move over to third. Conner scored Sturm with a single to left, and the Lady Bears led 3-0 after the first inning of play.

La Vernia scored another run in the bottom of the second inning, as Mikes reached base on a walk, and Sage doubled to centerfield to score Mikes.

Somerset scored 3 runs in the top of the third, but the Lady Bears came back in the bottom of the inning to get one back. Conner and Saenz drew walks, while Cummings singled to left, and La Vernia had runners on every base with just one out. Mikes then drew a walk after fighting off a full count, and Conner walked in for an easy run.

The Lady Bears picked up 2 runs in the bottom of the fourth as Sage and Sturm both homered over centerfield. The score was 7-3, and La Vernia had a bit more breathing room. Sage homered again in the bottom of the fifth, and the score was 8-3 with two innings left to play.

Somerset came back strong in the top of the sixth inning, scoring 3 runs to make it an 8-6 game. In the top of the seventh, though, the Bulldogs hit the ball very well and scored 5 runs before the side was retired, taking an 11-8 lead in the last inning of the game.

La Vernia needed 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh to keep the game going, and that’s exactly what they got. Myrick started things off with a walk, and Sage ripped a double to left to score Myrick. Savannah grounded out on a hard infield hit, but Sage moved over to third. Sturm then came to the plate and fouled off a pitch before taking the second pitch deep for a 2-run homer to tie the game at 11-all. A pair of ground outs retired the side, and the teams prepared for extra innings.

Somerset took its cuts at the ball, but managed just one base runner and no runs in the top of the eighth.

Cummings grounded out to start the bottom of the inning, and Saenz followed suit. It appeared to be heading into another inning of play when Mikes popped up to right field, but a fielding error kept her safe, and she eventually worked her way over to third base.

With a runner in scoring position, Myrick came to the plate. She fouled off three straight pitches to put herself in a hole at 0-2, but then watched three straight pitches outside the strike zone to bring it to a full count. Myrick swung on the next pitch, driving it into left field, and scoring Mikes from third for the win. By the score of 12-11, the Lady Bears sealed the victory, and laid claim to the District 28-3A title.

As district champs, the Lady Bears will enjoy a first-round bye, though they did schedule a warm-up game with Devine. The Lady Bears will begin playoff action in a bi-district matchup to be determined.

La Vernia def. Sam Houston, 17-0.

Lady Bears: Runs: Alisen Saenz-3, Savannah Martinez-2, Johnna Sturm-2, Kenzie Conner-2, Vicki Camacho-2, Morgan Mikes-2, Kara Myrick-2, Rebecka Rios-1, Rene Cummings-1. RBIs: Martinez-4, Myrick-2, Camacho-1, Mikes-1. Hits: Martinez-3 (1 home run, 2 doubles), Mikes-3, Rios-2, Myrick-2, Sturm-1 (triple), Camacho-1. Stolen bases: Rios-3, Conner-3, Cummings-2, Martinez-1, Sturm-1, Camacho-1, Myrick-1. Pitching: Cummings (Win)-7 strikeouts.

La Vernia def. Somerset, 12-11.

Lady Bears: Runs: Sage Martinez-4, Johnna Sturm-3, Morgan Mikes-2, Savannah Martinez-1, Kenzie Conner-1, Kara Myrick-1. RBIs: Sage Martinez-5, Sturm-3, Rebecka Rios-1, Conner-1, Mikes-1, Myrick-1. Hits: Sage Martinez-5 (3 home runs, 2 doubles), Sturm-3 (2 home runs, 1 double), Conner-2, Savannah Martinez-1, Rios-1, Rene Cummings-1, Myrick-1. Stolen bases: Myrick-1. Pitching: Mikes (Win)-1 strikeout; Zimmerle-1 strikeout, 1 walk; Cummings-2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 10 earned runs.

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