Reeling in a big one
The playoff ride will continue for the # 3 state ranked Charlotte Trojanette Softball team, as they reeled in a huge playoff victory against the Port Aransas Lady Marlins last Saturday afternoon. Great defense and timely hitting was the key to success for the Trojanettes, as they captured the Class 1A, Regional Quarter-Final Championship. Charlotte (22-6) will move on to face North Zulch (24-4) in the Regional Semi-Finals this weekend at Cedar Creek High School outside of Bastrop.
“What an exciting game! Port Aransas had a pitcher that was pretty good. We made her look a little better than she was, but take nothing for granted as they gave us a heck of a fight,” stated Charlotte Head Coach Shawn Vowell.
Charlotte’s Marquel Gaitan took the mound once again, as she improved to 19-6 on the season pitching all seven innings. Gaitan allowed four hits, struck out two and walked one during their playoff victory.
“My pitcher gets the game MVP as she forced them to hit ground balls, then went 2-2 as her courtesy runner scored the winning run. For the last three games, someone different has stepped up and carried the load,” stated Coach Vowell.
Charlotte was able to strike first in the bottom of the second inning. Martina Castillo was able to lay a nice bunt down to put a runner on base. This is when Charlotte’s Veronica Cordova came through, with a nice RBI single to give the Trojanettes a 1-0 lead which had the Trojanette faithful on their feet at Lady Horn Field.
Port Aransas was able to counter the score in the top of the 4th inning, as they tied up the game. Port A used a walk, an RBI and an E-3 to score their first run of the game, knotting things up at 1-1.
Things remained tied until the final inning of play. Charlotte was able to win in walk off style, thanks to clutch offensive plays. The inning began, as Marquel Gaitan got a huge single outfield to put a runner on base. Courtesy runner Jayti Wilson relieved her and was able to steal second base on a passed ball. Wilson was able to advance to third base, thanks to a single by Vanessa Ramos. Rebecca Munoz then grounded out, which advanced Ramos to second base putting two runners on base with one out in the game.
Alexa Castillo was able to save the day, with an RBI single which scored in Wilson capping off a 2-1 Regional Quarter-Final victory over the Lady Marlins. The Trojanettes stormed out of the dugout in celebration, as the Charlotte fans were on their feet.
“After the game, the Port A coach told me he told his pitcher to walk Alexa, but she missed her spot. I am just really proud of my girls. Our defense played great. A few key plays in the game included: Alexa diving to get the girl out at first. Martina falling to her knees and throwing out a batter at first base. Martina catching a pop-up on a bunt and firing to first base for the double play and our pitcher defending her position well,” added Vowell.
At bat- Vanessa Ramos 1-4, Rebecca Munoz 0-2, Alexa Castillo 2-4-1RBI, Amber Salazar 1-3, Martina Castillo 1-2-1run scored, Brianna Hernandez 0-3, Veronica Cordova 1-3-1RBI, Miranda Gaitan 0-3, Marquel Gaitan 2-2.
Upcoming series- The Trojanettes will advance to the Regional Semi-Finals where they will face one of the most under the radar teams in Class 1A, North Zulch who is ranked # 10 this week in the T.G.C.A. They have one of the best 1A pitchers in the state, when it comes to strikeouts and ERA. They will give Charlotte quite the challenge, but the Trojanettes are aware when you get to this level, only the strong survive and they are ready for the challenge.
“North Zulch is going to be very tough. When I watched them dismantle Ganado on Friday night in Columbus, they seemed to do all of the little things right. Their catcher Codi Drake does not look like much, but she can throw runners out and can hit. She is going to play softball at Mary Hardin Baylor. Their pitcher Erin Diserens again did not seem electric, but we have to hit better against North Zulch than we did against Port A,” Coach Shawn Vowell stated.
Diserens is only a sophomore on the mound, but has pitched all 28 games this season for the Lady Bulldogs as she sports a 24-4 record with a 1.56 ERA. After district play, she had accounted for 204 strikeouts.
The Lady Bulldogs are coming off an 11-1 Regional Quarter-Final game against the Ganado Indians.
“North Zulch has been floating under everyone’s radar. They lost to Shiner last year who went on and won the state title. Coach Ron Howard, has done a great job getting his girls ready to play. They played in a district similar to ours with not a lot of competition, but they did look good against Ganado,” stated Coach Vowell.
The best of three Semi- Final series begins on Friday night at Cedar Creek High School which is located off of highway 95 off of the “new toll road 45”. Game one will begin on Friday, May 18th at 6:00 p.m. with a game two to follow at 8:00 p.m. If a third game is needed, it will be held on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the same location.
“We will have to play a lot better than we have in the past. As long as our defense shows up, we feel we can hang with just about anybody,” Coach Vowell stated in closing .
The winner of this Regional Semi-Final series will face the winner of Flatonia/ Woodsboro in the Class 1A, Regional Final next weekend TBA.