Victoria Valdez slugged a grand slam homer to highlight a six-run sixth inning and the Alvin Lady Yellowjackets completed a sweep against Memorial in their Class 6A Area Round Best-of-Three Softball Playoff Series with a 11-4 triumph Thursday night at the Pasadena ISD Sports Complex.
The Lady Jackets captured the opener by a 3-0 count with Memorial on May 1 in Alvin.
The victories move 31-5 Alvin into a regional quarterfinal meeting with Dobie at Manvel High School. Due to statewide testing this week (which forbids games being played Tuesday through Thursday), games one and two will be played four days apart from each. Game one was played late Monday after the Advertiser went to press, while the second game will be played on Friday at 6 p.m. A third and deciding game would be played on Friday at 8 p.m. (if necessary).
Junior hurler Jodie Aguirre extended her team record for wins in a single season to 31, while also breaking the Alvin pitching mark for strikeouts. Aguirre fanned eight in Thursday’s contest to currently stand at 328 K’s. Rachel Hertenberger struck out 326 batters last season.
Despite getting to Memorial starter Annie Valdez early with five runs over the first two frames, the Lady Jackets experienced their own initial struggles with three errors and two hit batters by Aguirre and held a slim 5-4 cushion entering the sixth.
However, shortstop Clarissa Barron (2-for-4, two RBI’s) gained a bases-loaded walk to plate Chloe Foster (two RBI’s) and after Shae Montemayor scored on a Lady Mavs’ error to make it 7-4, Valdez drilled a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall to put the game out of reach.
Aguirre retired six of the next seven batters, getting Alicia Lopez on a pop fly to Barron to end it.
In the series opener, the Alvin right-hander fired a two-hitter with seven strikeouts and didn’t allow a runner past second base.
Foster dashed home on a Memorial miscue in the third, while Mindy Matthews reached on an infield hit at short in the fifth to drive in courtesy runner Evany Gonzalez. Aguirre then helped her own cause with a bloop single to right field in the sixth to score Grace Coffelt from second base.
Friendswood 7 Manvel 6 - A four-run fifth helped the Lady Mustangs escape the Lady Mavs’ upset bid in the teams’ one-game Class 5A area round playoff on May 1 in Santa Fe.
Manvel jumped on Friendswood starter Chloe Riassetto for four runs during the first two frames. Peyton Wilsey delivered a two-run single in the second inning.
After the Lady Mustangs cut the gap to 4-3 with three tallies in the fourth, Manvel loaded the bases on a Friendswood fielding miscue, Haley Ratcliff’s single and a walk to Wilsey during the frame’s bottom half, paving the way for Brianna Garcia’s single to right field to make it 6-3.
Friendswood promptly answered with the four spot in the top of the fifth, though. Key RBI’s for the Lady Mustangs came off the bats of Elizabeth Higgins (single), Bayleigh Lay (hit by pitch with bases loaded), Lauren Adams (sacrifice fly) and Reagan Jones (single).
Manvel, who blanked Milby 14-0 in the bi-district round on April 26, closes its season at 21- 12.