#2 LaVernia tops Natalia for Somerset Tournament title

The Natalia Lady Mustangs were impressive in the Somerset Tourney opener last Thursday as they knocked around the Pearsall Lady Mavs out-scoring the Frio County squad 16-3. Natalia would drop the eventual tourney title game Thursday afternoon vs. the #2 state ranked LaVernia Lady Bears falling 5-4.
From here on out, Natalia outscored their next four opponents 47-9 en route to a 2nd place finish in the Lady Bulldog Classic. Natalia’s Biviana Figueroa along with Abi Woodson were named All-Tournament, as the girls in blue prepare for another challenging tournament weekend upcoming in Jourdanton.
“We are extremely happy with our teams unselfishness this past weekend,” Natalia Head Coach Tara Cortinas said. “Each and every player contributed to our success and they are really taking pride in fulfilling their roles.”
Pearsall– In the Somerset Tourney opener, Natalia out-hit the Pearsall Lady Mavs 15-4 en route to a lop-sided 16-3 victory. Natalia out-scored the Frio County squad 6-2 in the opening inning and 10-1 in the second before coasting to victory.
At bat: Trista Vera 1-3-2RBIs-1run scored, Gabby Munoz 1-2-2RBIs-2runs scored, Gabby Contreras 2-3-2runs scored, Mena Figueroa 2-2-1RBI-2runs scored, Kaelyn Lara 0-2, Bryanna Perez 2-2-1RBI-2runs scored, Abi Woodson 2-2-2RBIs-2runs scored, Bivi Figueroa 3-3-3RBIs-3runs scored and Taty Alvareado 2-3-1RBI-2runs scored.
Abi Woodson pitched 3.0 innings allowing four hits, walked one, struck out four and allowed three runs, two of which were earned.
#2 LaVernia– The second game of the tourney vs #2 state ranked LaVernia, the Lady Bears erased a 2-0 deficit vs. Natalia as they used a huge 5th inning to defeat the Lady Mustangs 5-4.
In the top of the 5th, LV used a single, a Hit by a pitch, a double, an error, a pair of fielder’s choices and a walk to scored four runs.
Natalia’s final run came in the bottom of the 5th as Bivi Figueroa used a triple and an error to put the 4th and final run on the board for Natalia.
Natalia finished the game with a 5-3 offensive advantage, but had two defensive errors compared to one by LV.
At bat: Vera 0-3, Contreras 0-2, M. Figueroa 1-1-1RBI, Lara 0-2, Perez 0-1, Woodson 0-1, Santoya 0-1, B. Figueroa 2-2-1RBI-2runs scored, Alvarado 2-3-2runs scored.
Woodson pitched 5.0, allowed three hits, walked three, struck out six and allowed five runs, three of which were earned.
Somerset– Natalia got back on track on Friday, as they jumped on host Somerset and never looked back. Natalia out-hit the Lady Bulldogs 7-5 and forced an additional error on the girls in blue en route to an 8-2 victory. Natalia out-scored Somerset 2-1 in the 1st inning, 2-0 in the 2nd inning and 4-1 in the 5th.
The Figueroa sisters led the offensive charge as both accounted for two hits and three RBIs as Mena Figueroa also had one home-run for Natalia.
At bat: Munoz 0-1, Contreras 0-3, M. Figueroa 2-3-1HR-3RBIs-1run scored, Lara 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Perez 1-4-1run scored, Woodson 0-2-1run scored, Santoya 1-2-1run scored, B. Figueroa 2-2-3RBIs-2runs scored and Alvarado 0-4-1RBI-1run scored.
Woodson pitched 5.0 innings, as she allowed five hits, walked one, struck out five and allowed two earned runs.
Lytle– District foe and rival Lytle proved to be no challenge for the girls in blue Friday evening. Natalia dominated the black and gold from the start en route to a 10-0 run-rule victory. Natalia out-hit Lytle 7-1 and forced six additional errors on the Lady Pirate defense.
At bat: Vera 1-3-3runs scored, Munoz 0-2-1run scored, M. Figueroa 2-3-3RBIs-1run scored, Lara 0-1, Perez 0-1-1RBI-1run scored, Woodson 0-2-1RBI, Santoya 0-2, B. Figueroa 3-3-1RBI-3runs scored, Alvarado 1-3-1run scored.
Woodson pitched 4.0, allowed one hit, walked two and struck out seven.
S.A. Highlands– The Lady Mustangs returned to action Saturday vs. 6A San Antonio Highlands. Natalia’s offense proved to be too much to handle early and often, as Natalia used a four run 1st inning to pace the Lady Stangs to a 12-3 victory. Highlights of the game included ten hits led by a home-runs by Bivi Figueroa and Trista Vera.
Natalia out-hit Highlands 10-6 and forced an additional six errors on the Lady Owl defense during their big win in Somerset.
At bat: Vera 2-2-1HR-3RBIs-1run scored, Munoz 1-2-1run scored, M. Figueroa 2-3-1run scored, Lara 1-2-1RBI-1run scored, Perez 0-1-1RBI-1run scored, Woodson 0-2-2runs scored, Santoya 0-3-2RBIs, B. Figueroa 1-2-1HR-2RBIs-2runs scored and Alvarado 3-3-3runs scored.
Woodson pitched 5.0, allowed six hits, walked one, struck out eight and allowed three earned runs.
Pleasanton– The bats remained hot in the tourney finale vs. the Pleasanton Lady Eagles. Natalia’s offense belted ten more hits including home-runs again by Vera and B. Figueroa as Natalia overcame a short lived 2-1 deficit after the 1st inning to run past P-Town 13-4.
Natalia finished with the 10-5 hit advantage as Natalia did surrender two defensive errors compared to one by Pleasanton.
The big highlight of this one, was a grand-slam in the top of the 4th inning which gave Natalia an 8-2 advantage at the time.
At bat: Vera 1-2-1HR-4RBIs-2runs scored, Munoz 1-4-1run scored, M. Figueroa 2-4-4RBIs, Lara 2-2-1RBI-3runs scored, Perez 0-3, Woodson 1-3-1run scored, Santoya 0-2-2runs scored, B. Figueroa 1-1-1RBI-2runs scored and Alvarado 2-4-2RBIs-2runs scored.
Woodson pitched 5.0, allowed five hits, walked four, struck out seven and allowed four runs, two of which were earned.
Natalia Lady Mustang Abi Woodson and Bivi Figueroa were named to the All-Tournament team for the Somerset Tournament.
“We had great pitching, great hustle plays, sacrifice bunts and solid base running which all came together courtesy of our team effort,” Coach Cortinas said.
Express News Player of the Week
Natalia’s Biviana Figueroa who is committed to Division I Nicholls State, led the charge in the season opener vs. Orange Grove and in Somerset going 13-14 (929 average) in seven games putting up 11 RBIs, two home-runs, three triples and four doubles. Other area athletes recognized by the Express Tuesday included Medina Valley’s Trystan Benke and South San’s Caitlyn Rangel who were named as “Game Ball” athletes.
TGCA Top 15
The Texas Girls Coaches Association released Top 15 softball poll, and the Lady Mustangs came in at #13.
Santa Gertrudis Academy tops the list at #1, followed by Danbury, Hughes Springs, Shallowater, Clyde, Little River Academy, Emory Rains, Brock, Pattonville Prairiland, Grand Saline, West, and Pilot Point. #14 East Bernard and #15 West Rusk round out the list.
Upcoming Games
Natalia will be tested this coming Thursday as they open the Greatest Show on Turf Tourney in Jourdanton vs. the Express News #3 best team in the area Medina Valley (7-0) at 9:00 a.m. This will be only the second meeting between the two programs, who began back in the early 90s in the same softball district for a three year stint. Natalia has never beaten Medina Valley in softball at the varsity level.
Natalia’s second game on Thursday will be at 2:15 p.m. vs. the Hondo Owls.
Friday, the Lady Stangs will battle Navarro who is coming off a Regional Final appearance in Class 4A at 12:30 p.m.
The second game of the day will be vs. traditionally tough Holy Cross at 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, Natalia rounds out action vs. Navarro once again at 12:30 p.m. due to the fact Jourdanton did not want to schedule Natalia in non-district play due to being rivals in district.
Tuesday, March 3rd Natalia travels to Hondo to battle the Lady Owls at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer