Arabians fall to Cuero in Bi-District

The Devine Arabians were swept out of the playoffs by the Cuero Lady Gobblers last week, falling 3-2 in Game 1 of the three-game Bi-District series, before the season ended with an 11-0 loss in Game 2.
“I want to congratulate the Arabian Varsity team on a great season,” Head Coach Juan Gonzalez said of his team, which finished 13-18 overall and 7-1 in District to finish as the 29-4A champs. “I want to thank all the girls for their hard work and dedication throughout our entire season.”
Game 1
The first game of the series, played last Thursday, April 25 at Judson, was a nail-biter full of missed opportunities for Devine.
The Arabians had the opportunity to take the lead in the top of the 1st inning, when leadoff hitter Julie Ortiz walked to start things off and then stole 2nd to get into scoring position. Three consecutive fly-outs ended the inning.
Cuero made the most of its opportunity, scoring a run in the bottom of the 1st. Leadoff batter Guzman singled to center and advanced to 2nd on an error that also allowed hitter Heinold to reach base. Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt, and Guzman later scored to give the Lady Gobblers a 1-0 lead.
Devine threatened again in the top of the 3rd. Ortiz hit a two-out single to right field, and Jeanette Rios followed with a single to shortstop to put Ortiz in scoring position. A ground-out to 2nd base closed out the inning.
The Lady Gobblers struck again in the bottom of the 4th. Reeve was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt, and scored after back-to-back singles to give Cuero a 2-0 lead.
Cuero tacked on what was the winning run in the bottom of the 5th. Guzman led off the inning with a double, advanced to 3rd on a one-out single, and scored on a ground-out to 3rd to put the Lady Gobblers up 3-0.
Devine rallied for two runs in the top of the 6th. Ortiz doubled to lead off the inning, and Rios singled on a bunt that moved Ortiz to 3rd. Kendall Arche followed with a single to load the bases with no outs. Jessie Ramirez drew a four-pitch walk to force in Ortiz and plate the Arabians’ first run of the game. Megan Runyan followed with a sac fly to right to knock in Rios and cut Cuero’s lead to 3-2. Arche and Ramirez remained in scoring position with just one out, but consecutive fly-outs to 2nd cut Devine’s rally short.
The Arabians nearly tied things up in the top of 7th. Mackenzie Schneider hit a line drive single to right field and stole second before Ortiz walked on four pitches. Arche hit a two-out line drive to center field, and Schneider was thrown out trying to score from 2nd and tie the game, giving Cuero the 3-2 win.
Devine scored two runs on six hits, struck out twice, left seven runners on base, and committed one error.
Mackenzie McClellan pitched 6 innings, allowing three runs, including two earned runs, on seven hits and one walk. McClellan had seven strikeouts and hit two Lady Gobbler batters.
At bat: Ortiz 2-2, 2 BB, 1 run; Rios 2-4, 1 run; Arche 1-4; Ramirez 0-2, 1 BB, 1 RBI; Runyan 0-2, 1 RBI.
Game 2
Game 2 was played on Saturday, April 27, and was a different story. Cuero took control of the contest early, and despite having at least one base runner in four of the five innings played, the Arabians were unable to score and fell 11-0 in a run-rule shortened game.
Guzman led off the game with a double, and Richardson followed with a one-out single. Guzman was forced out on Reeve’s single to 3rd that put Richardson in scoring position at 2nd. Aguilar followed with a bases-clearing, two-out triple to center, and scored herself on Rangnow’s hard-hit single to shortstop to give Cuero a quick 3-0 lead before the inning ended on a pop fly to shortstop.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, Rios singled on a one-out line drive to 3rd and advanced to 2nd on Arche’s pop fly to right before a fly-out ended the inning. Halle Hagdorn drew a four-pitch walk in the bottom of the 2nd inning but was unable to advance past 1st base.
The Lady Gobblers struck again in the top of the 3rd inning. Richardson led off the inning with a single, advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt, and scored on Aguilar’s single to center field. Aguilar stole 2nd and scored on Johnson’s two-out single to center to give Cuero a 5-0 lead. Yancey walked to put Johnson into scoring position, but a strikeout ended the inning.
Devine had another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 3rd inning thanks to a two-out double by Rios, but a pop fly to right field ended the scoring threat.
Cuero added more runs in the top of the 4th inning. Heinold doubled, Richardson walked, and Reeve singled to load the bases with one out. After the second out was recorded, all three base runners were on the move in the next at-bat ¬— Heinold scored stealing home, Richardson stole 3rd, and Reeve stole 2nd. The batter, Rangnow, then singled to left field to drive in Richardson for a 7-0 lead. Reeve scored on a error, and Rangnow moved into scoring position at 2nd on Johnson’s single to 3rd. Yancey knocked in Rangnow and Johnson with a single to left for a 10-0 lead, and Richmond followed with a single to 2nd before Guzman lined out for the third out.
The bottom of the 4th inning started well for the Arabians, with Ramirez hitting a single to right field and stealing 2nd to get into scoring position with no outs. Consecutive outs via a line out to center, a pop fly to center, and a groundout to shortstop cut short any attempt at a rally.
The Lady Gobblers tacked on a final run in the top of the 5th inning on Reeve’s two-out home run over the left field fence, and the Arabians went down in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Devine was held scoreless on four hits, left four runners on base, and committed one error.
Isabella Gutierrez gave up five earned runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings and recorded two strikeouts. McClellan gave up six earned runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings, struck out one, and walked two.
At bat: Rios 2-2; Arche 1-2; Ramirez 1-2; Hagdorn 0-1, 1 BB.
“I want to thank our three seniors, Jessie Ramirez, Kendall Arche, and Julie Ortiz, who I will miss next season, but wish them the best of luck as they start a new journey in their life,” Gonzalez said. “We have come a long way in one season, and I am very proud of this entire group of young ladies. They were so much fun to be around, and I am definitely going to miss off-season workouts, practices, tournaments, game days, and Saturday hitting workouts.”
Six starters and 13 lettermen will return for the Arabians next season.
“The future is bright for this group and the Arabian softball program,” Gonzalez said.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer