Uvalde bests Pleasanton in final two games

Pleasanton senior Tatum Standley tosses a pitch home during Pleasanton’s 19-4 loss to Uvalde in Game 3 of the bi-district series on Saturday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Despite winning the opening game of the three-game bi-district series with Uvalde, Pleasanton’s season ended in the bi-district round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

The Lady Eagles (8-14) lost to Uvalde 27-2 in five innings on Friday after a two-hour rain delay. Uvalde closed the series with a 19-4 win over the Lady Eagles on Saturday morning.

“The first playoff win we got, it was a big boost for us,” Head Coach Ronda Savage said Saturday. “Yesterday, weather played a huge factor in our morale and prom being today didn’t help, either. But these nine girls that showed up this morning to play, with the Eagle across their chest, revealed their true character, revealed what kind of kids they are. It doesn’t matter what that scoreboard says, these kids fought to the end and that’s all that matters.”

Pleasanton’s bats went silent in Friday’s game. Meanwhile, Uvalde used a big second inning to score 11 runs and put the game out of reach.

Mackinzy Curbow was charged with the loss in the circle on Friday. She did not play Saturday morning.

Savage wanted her team to attack in Saturday’s winner-take-all game. The Lady Eagles pounced for two runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-run double by Jaelyn Morales.

Uvalde answered with a three-run home run by Bethany Gonzales in the bottom of the inning and eventually took a 6-3 lead after another three-run frame in the second.

Pleasanton’s Taylor Bryant puts a ball in play during the Lady Eagles’ 19-4 loss to Uvalde on Saturday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Lady Eagles were able to pull a run back on an RBI double from Taylor Bryant in the third. She was one of three Lady Eagles to tally an RBI.

But Pleasanton needed more than that run to stay in striking distance. They left two runners on base in that inning and six total for the game.

“We knew if we didn’t [score], that the game would be over,” senior shortstop Kennidy Nicholson said. “But we had a lot of fight in us and we tried to get it done. We didn’t quite do it, but we tried.”

Nicholson delivered Pleasanton’s final RBI with a single to score Standley in the fifth inning.

Standley took the loss in the circle for Pleasanton on Saturday. The second baseman-turned-pitcher threw five innings and faced all but one batter in the game. Despite allowing 18 runs, Standley worked well to allow just six runs in the first three innings, stranding four runners.

“Pitching has been our key factor the whole season,” Savage said. “Like last night, when you walk 22, there’s no chance coming back from that. But Tatum is a second baseman and outfielder that converted to a pitcher. Tatum did a helluva job for us and I couldn’t have asked that kid to do anything more.”

The loss brought closure for Pleasanton’s seven seniors after the 2020 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year, the season got canceled and it was just a hassle,” Standley said. “Honestly, it felt good to get back out on the field. We were ready. I just can’t believe it’s over.”

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