For a second straight weekend, the youthful Natalia Lady Mustangs competed in a competitive tournament on the softball diamond. For a second straight weekend, the girls in blue showcased a young team that portrayed many positives, as well as numerous areas of concern. The great thing about a young team is time will only help the team grow and that is why a 2nd place finish in a competitive tournament is nothing to hold your heads down about.
The Natalia Lady Mustangs opened the round-robin tournament Friday morning as they battled the 4A Orange Grove Lady Bulldogs at a beautiful brand new Jourdanton Softball all turf field.
Lady Mustang junior Felicia Guzman took the mound for the girls in blue as she pitched all 7.0 innings allowing just four hits, walking 1 and striking out 2 during the contest.
OG scored one of two runs in their first at bat, thanks to a single, one Natalia error and a pair of stolen bases.
Natalia responded with a big 1st inning, as they used a Regina Garza walk, an error put into play by Bryanna Perez and singles by JuJu Morales and Guzman as well as passed balls to take the 2-1 lead.
OG tied the game in the top of the 4th, as they used yet another Natalia error and a double to tie the game.
Natalia was able to win this game in the bottom of the 6th. Natalia used a Morales single, a Guzman single, a double by Garza and singles by Gabby Contreras and Jasmine Gomez to score in three runs fueling Natalia to a 5-2 victory.
At bat: D. Garza 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Gomez 1-3, Guzman 2-3-1RBI-1run scored, Contreras 2-3, B. Perez 0-3-1run scored, Morales 2-3-1run scored, R. Garza 0-2-1run scored, Biviana Figueroa 1-3, Gabi Sontoya 0-3.
Natalia battled a talented 2A Sabinal Lady Jacket squad Friday afternoon. The purple and gold squad from Uvalde County had advanced three rounds a season ago thanks to the efforts of their stellar junior pitcher.
Although Sabinal like Natalia lost big senior classes a season ago, it came down to whose offense would produce in a pitchers dual.
Sophomore Garza got the start for Natalia, as she pitched 5.0 innings allowing just one hit and striking out four in the contest.
After a scoreless 1st inning, Natalia got their first run in the second thanks to a D. Garza single along with a single by Gomez and a stolen base.
The Lady Mustangs added two additional runs to the board in the 3rd inning thanks to a Figueroa walk as well as singles by Guzman, D. Garza and Contreras.
The final run of the game came in the 4th inning, as R. Garza scores thanks to a single and a double by B. Perez.
At bat- D. Garza 2-2-1run scored, Gomez 1-1, Guzman 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Contreras 2-2, B. Perez 1-3, Morales 0-3, Garza 1-3-1run scored, D. Perez 0-0, Figueroa 1-2-1RBI-1run scored and Sontoya 0-2.
Just over two weeks away from a 26-3A opener between old district rivals, the Lady Mustangs and the host Jourdanton Squaws were set to battle.
Big Red was without the services of their “ace pitcher” due to an injury, but that didn’t slow down this senior laden pitcher from riding the backs of their offense as well as supporting the services of a talented freshman pitcher.
A number of key errors along with numerous J-town attacks offensively resulted in a shortened and lop-sided game between the two squads.
J-town set the tone scoring seven big runs in their opening at bat which fueled them to a huge 12-0 victory over the Lady Mustangs in a four inning run-rule win.
According to Coach Crowley, Natalia’s offense did put the ball in play numerous times which was obvious with only three Ks, but everything went right to the defense.
Guzman pitched the first 1.1 inning, as she allowed ten hits, walked two and allowed nine runs in her outing.
Garza pitched 2.2, allowed three hits, struck out one and allowed three runs in the game.
At bat- D. Garza 1-2, Gomez 0-2, Guzman 1-2, Contreras 0-2, B. Perez 1-2, Morales 0-1, R. Garza 0-1, D. Perez 0-1 and Figueroa 0-2.
The Lady Mustangs returned to Jourdanton Saturday morning looking to lick their wounds and recover and respond from a less than impressive outing versus Jourdanton.
Natalia was able to do just that with a nice come-back win versus the 4A Gonzales Lady Apaches.
Sophomore Garza got the start on the mound, as she truly fared well. She pitched 6.0, allowed just three hits and walked just one while striking out six in the game.
Gonzales scored those three runs in the top of the 4th inning thanks to an error, two singles and a double.
Natalia responded in the bottom of the 4th, as they scored a pair of runs. These were courtesy of a Figueroa HBP, a Morales base on balls and a D. Garza single.
Natalia then added three runs in the 5th thanks to a Gomez single, a R. Garza walk, a B. Perez HBP and a double by Figueroa.
The final damage by the girls in blue came in the bottom of the 6th. Natalia used a D. Garza double and a Contreras double as well as singles by D. Perez, R. Garza and a double by B. Perez to seal the deal. This allowed Natalia to pick-up a 7-3 victory.
At Bat- D. Garza 2-3-1run scored, Gomez 1-3-1run scored, Guzman 1-3, Contreras 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, B. Perez 1-3-1run scored, Morales 0-2-1RBI-1run scored, Garza 1-3-1run scored, D. Perez 1-3-1RBI, Figueroa 1-3-2RBIs-1run scored.
Natalia’s final game of the tourney pitted them against former district 26-3A rival Marion who moved to a new district this season. Marion like Natalia lost a big senior class and the girls in blue dominated the Guadalupe County squad.
Natalia broke open a 1-1 ball game in the 2nd inning scoring five big runs in the bottom of the 2nd. The highlight of the inning was doubles by D. Garza, Sontoya, R. Garza and B. Perez giving the Lady Mustangs a 6-1 lead.
Natalia went on to pick up an 11-2 victory over Marion as the Lady Mustangs finished with a 12-6 advantage offensively. Natalia had their best defensive game of the tourney surrendering only one error. The highlight in a five run 4th inning was a three run bomb over CF fence by freshman stand-out Figueroa.
Guzman got the win on the mound, pitching 5.0 allowing six hits, striking out two and allowing the two runs.
At bat- D. Garza 2-3-1run scored, Gomez 1-2-1run scored, Guzman 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Contreras 1-2, B. Perez 2-2-2RBIs-3runs scored, Morales 1-3-1run scored, R. Garza 1-3-1run scored, D. Perez 0-1, Figueroa 2-3-3RBIs-1run scored and Sontoya 1-1-2runs scored.
Natalia Lady Mustang freshman Biviana Figueroa, sophomore pitcher Daniella Garza and senior 2nd baseman Regina Garza were all named to the all-tournament team.
Dilley Tournament this weekend
Natalia returns to tournament action this Friday in Frio County where they will compete in a two day Dilley Tournament. Natalia will be without the services of three starters due to Regional Powerlifting including Regina Garza, JuJu Morales and Jasmine Gomez.
Natalia opens pool play at 11:00 versus the Freer Lady Bucs before battling Poteet at 3:30 p.m. The final pool game will be a re-match of the tourney title game a season ago as Natalia battles Pearsall at 8:00 p.m.
Dependent on how the pool play turns out will determine what time the girls in blue battle on Saturday.
On Tuesday, March 7th they battle the Hondo Owls on the road at 7:00 p.m. in a non-district battle.
By Eric Smith