Hawks Are STARR’s After Win Over Billies, 4-3
Canyon Lake continues their chase for District 28-4A supremacy after squeaking out a win over Fredericksburg, 4-3 at the Hawk Nest Friday night.
“This was our best defensive game we have played,” Head Coach John Gallagher fielded. “All we did this past week was hitting and defense….they hit 150 times in the batting cages and they fielded ground-balls all week long.”
The Hawks started this battle with a good offense as the bottom of that first inning had consecutive doubles by Maddy Puente and Lauren Mentzer after Bailey Bryan started the fireworks with a single.
It resulted in a 2 run lead that stood up until the Billies scratched for one run in the top of the 5th inning.
“We stayed patient and didn’t swing at a lot of junk pitches,” Coach Gallagher said in response to the offense on this night.
Meanwhile, the Hawks, would not have a runner reach base until a Maggie Banks single to start their 5th frame.
There were 11 straight outs for Canyon Lake which gave the Billies a chance as they were now within one run of tying the game.
The Billies would do one better when they scored 2 runs in their next inning, taking a 3-2 lead that put the Hawk’s back against the wall.
Those two runs had the same ammo as each of those two stanza’s, the Billies had a lead-off triple that would score.
Lauren Mentzer had pitched an admirable game but was standing with 123 pitches when Coach Gallagher visited the circle to switch pitchers.
Mentzer had thrown just 49 pitches in those first 4 innings or right at 12 pitches for every 3 outs. Then the next two stanza’s, Mentzer was working overtime as she totaled 37 throws in the 5th and another 30 when Coach Gallagher made his trip to the circle.
Fredericksburg still had two outs and had tied the score in the sixth when Banks was called to douse the fire with two Billies still on base.
Relievers will many times add some drama and Banks was true to form with a first pitch wild pitch moving both Billes to scoring position.
Three pitches later a ground out to short-stop Bryan would end the inning with some work still needed for Canyon Lake.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Maggie (Banks),” Coach Gallagher admonished. “The change of pace after Lauren (Mentzer) has pitched keeps them off balance.”
CL responded in the bottom of the frame with the top of their batting order as Carley Dubois, who had some good contact but nothing to show for it, decided to lay a bunt down. That maneuver was a classic Dubois hit as she was passing first base while the Billies 3rd baseman was picking up the ball.
Dubois adds pressure on a defense anytime she graces the base paths and the Hawks had their best in position to help get a tying score.
Bryan was next and she too had a fantastic bunt that she had to figure out a dance move to avoid hitting the ball, as she did her two-step to first and now having 2 Hawks on the base paths.
Puente was next up and the lady Billies would have a mistake with a wild pitch to the back stop which had Dubois scoring the tying run and then an error on that same sequence allowed Bryan to score and a Hawk lead, 4-3.
Puente would get her 2nd hit of the game but the damage was done and CL was now in position for a win.
“We just need to focus,” Puente commented after the game. “If we just keep thinking positive and don’t doubt the other team then we will be alright.”
Puente is now on a 6 game hitting streak and a 5 game multi-hit streak with her second safety of the contest on this at bat.
Canyon Lake had their best defensive game of the year as Bryan would get the next three ground balls for outs in the 7th and final inning. She ended this game with 4 straight ground-outs which is a pitcher’s best friend for a game that was needed badly.
“I took a lot of ground balls this week and I was making sure I had no errors,” Bryan said. “I try to embrace pressure and that is just part of the game and when you can do that, then it will lead to momentum.”
Another loss in this first round would have, for all intense and purposes, left the Hawks with a tough road in accomplishing their chance of winning the district crown.
Now the Hawks have some momentum as they continue the first round of District 28-4A games.
No errors was just what the doctor ordered as those, over 5 error games, had become common. When playing tough competition you will need to have all phases of your game with a passing grade.
CL will travel to Bandera next Tuesday to take on the Bulldogs and with some momentum, the Hawks, will work on keeping their game in sync as they passed their STARR testing with flying colors on Friday night.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Fredericksburg 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 5 1 CL Hawks 2 0 0 0 0 2 x 4 7 0 ab r h bi 2b bb so misc Carley Dubois 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 Bailey Bryan 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 Maddy Puente 3 1 2 1 1 0 0 Lauren Mentzer 3 0 1 1 1 0 1 Kat Weber 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 Adriana Peaslee 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 Maggie Banks 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 cs Adriana Zunker 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 Emma Wetz 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 totals 23 4 7 2 2 0 4 pitching ip h r er bb so W L Lauren Mentzer 5.1 5 3 3 4 7 0 0 Maggie Banks 1.2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 totals 7.0 5 3 3 4 7 wp: Maggie Banks 1 pitches/strikes: Lauren Mentzer 123/76 Maggie Banks 18/12