Freshmen lift Lady Mustangs to Bi-District win over Lago Vista

Lady Mustang catcher Biviana Figueroa hit a home run to help power Natalia to a 6-2 win over Lago Vista. Check our our online gallery for more photos!

With the game tied in the 5th inning, freshmen Gabi Sontoya and Biviana Figueroa came through in a huge way during their playoff debut for the Natalia Lady Mustangs last Friday evening. Both young ladies belted two-run home-runs lifting Natalia past Lago Vista 6-2 in a Class 3A, Bi-District game at Wagner High School.
“In the 5th inning, our eight hole batter got on thanks to a Lago Vista error,” Natalia Head Coach Travis Crowley said. “Our pinch runner was able to steal which put us in a good position to take the lead. After not executing on a bunt, we were down 0-2 in the count. This is when our freshman Sontoya who bats 9th in our line-up hit a deep ball that cleared the fence that gave us a huge lift.”
The Sontoya two run home-run scored freshman Gabby Contreras who got on thanks to the LV error. This was only the start of a huge 5th inning.
“Next up, our sophomore pitcher Garza slammed one off the left field fence,” Crowley said.
Senior Regina Garza was able to put a SAC bunt into play which advanced Garza to 3rd base setting the stage for freshman Figueroa.
“Biviana Figueroa came up, turned on an inside pitch to put Lago Vista away with a two run-home run,” Crowley said. “Santoya has been due for a big moment like this all year. As far as Figueroa is concerned, she has come through for us throughout the year at bat and defensively.”
This accounted for a huge four run inning which broke open a tied ball game.
Lago Vista struck first in the opening at bat. After watching their lead-off batter ground out, they used back to back singles, a ground-out and a single to score a pair of runs. These would be the only runs that would be scored for the Lady Vikings.
Natalia responded in the bottom of the 1st inning. Natalia used a Regina Garza single, a Figueroa base on balls, two stolen bases thanks to great heads up base running and a Felicia Guzman single to tie the game at the time 2-2.
The only other time LV challenged and threatened Natalia was in the 2nd inning where they had a runner tagged out at the plate. They only stranded two additional runners throughout the game, as Natalia had a number of great moments to get out of possible sticky situations.
The Lady Mustangs finished the game stranding just one runner, as they really struggled to keep the ball on the ground due to the much slower pitching by Lago Vista who had a one of a kind delivery with a slower speed then accustomed to.
“Going into this game, I knew their pitcher’s delivery would keep us off balance for a while and we had to weather the storm,” Crowley said. “We made some key defensive plays to keep the game close.”
The Lady Mustangs picked up the 6-2 victory as they finished the game out-hitting the Lake Travis area squad 7-5. The one issue that remained aside from a struggling offense at times, was three defensive errors that could have been costly.
Garza pitched 7.0 innings, allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven giving up two runs, both of which were earned.
At Bat: Garza 2-3-1run scored, Jasmine Gomez 0-1, Felicia Guzman 1-3-1RBI, Gabby Contreras 1-3-1run scored, Bryanna Perez 0-3, JuJu Morales 0-3, Regina Garza 1-2-1run scored, Caprice Sanchez 0-2, Biviana Figueroa 1-2-1RBI-2runs scored and Gabi Sontoya 1-2-1RBI-2run scored.
Defensive Put-Outs: Figueroa 8, Guzman 3, Contreras 3, D. Garza 3, R. Garza 2, Perez 1, Morales 1. Assists- Guzman 1.
Area Playoffs
The Natalia Lady Mustangs (19-7-2) will battle the District 27-3A Champion #6 Hallettsville (19-3) this Friday and Saturday in the Area Playoffs. The two will battle at a brand new facility at Marion I.S.D. with a best of three series. Hallettsville is coming off a one game series win vs. the Edna Cowgirls with an 8-0 victory.
The Hallettsville Lady Brahmas are led by one of the winningest 3A Coaches in Texas, long time coach Mike Mikeska (261-75-3 ) who led this squad to a 30-5 overall record and a Regional Final appearance a season ago. In 2015, they advanced to the State Title game where they fell to East Bernard and Samantha Show 8-1. They also advanced to the state tournament in 2014 where they fell to Danbury and 2013 where they fell to Anahuac. Mikeska had been the leader of the Lady Brahmas for 10 seasons and they have made the playoffs each season since 1997 with just one losing season.
This season the lone losses for the Lady Brahmas was their season opener to Lampasas (4-0), Pflugerville Hendrickson (1-0) and to 4A Giddings (7-2).
The Lady Brahmas won their district finishing ahead of Schulenburg, Yoakum, Stockdale, Marion and Randolph.
“We are looking forward to a match-up versus a really tough Hallettsville team,” Crowley said. “It will be a clash of two programs with a ton of tradition. For once, we are the underdog and the target is on someone else’s back. It will be a tough task, but I promise you this team will fight until the final out.”
It was hard to find any stats or much information on the Lady Brahmas for the 2017 season. According to their 2016 roster, they would have only one senior on this year’s squad and five juniors and two sophomores. Five seniors graduated from their 30-5 squad a season ago including two of their four pitchers.
According to last year’s roster, their pitchers this year would be sophomore left hander Rylee Trlicek and junior right hand pitcher Claire Zak.
The Area Playoffs begin Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Guadalupe County at Marion Lady Bulldog Field.
Game two will be on a steamy Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. with a third game to follow if needed.
The winner of this Area Battle will face the winner of Boling (winner 28-3A) versus Florence (Runner 25-3A) in the Regional Quarter-Finals next week.
Get out and support the Natalia Lady Mustangs and watch social media on Natalia ISD to get info on a fan bus which will be available for a ride to the game!
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer