Lady Mustangs finish 3rd in Kerrville tournament

Danni Perez winds up to fire one over the plate.

Ten competitive teams from the area battled during a three day tournament at Kerrville Tivy Lady Antler Field this past Thursday-Saturday. Although Natalia competed in only two of the three days in the Hill Country, they battled in a total of six games. When the final out was made versus Kerrville Tivy Saturday evening, the girls in blue were able to improve to 5-1-1 on the season finishing in 3rd place overall behind tourney champion Medina Valley (7-0) and 2nd place Fredericksburg (6-1).
“I felt this was a good tournament to test where we stood being the fact we are such a young team,” Natalia Coach Travis Crowley said. “Our pitching was once again outstanding led the majority of the time by junior Daniella Garza and we had timely hitting to help us build a lead in the majority of the games we played.”
Junction – The girls in blue began tourney action Friday morning versus the 2A Junction Lady Eagles.
A nine run third inning led Lady Stangs to a 17-1 victory over the Lady Eagles. In this inning, big bats were evident as Biviana Figueroa, Dezarae Perez and Gabi Sontoya all accounted for doubles.
Natalia finished with a total tally of 14 hits in the contest as Garza got the win on the mound starting things off on the right foot.
Stats: Pitching:Garza pitched 1.2 innings, allowed 1 hit, struck out 2. D. Perez pitched 1.1 innings, allowed 3 hits, walked one and allowed one run. At Bat-Jimena Figueroa 2-2-2runs scored-3RBIs, JuJu Morales 2-2-2runs scored-1RBI, Angelina Zapata 0-0-1run scored-1RBI, Biviana Figueroa 2-3-2runs scored-3RBIs, Daniella Garza 0-0-1run scored, Dezarae Perez 1-1-1run scored-1RBI, Trista Vera 0-1-1RBI, Megan Castro 1-2-2RBIs, Felicia Guzman 1-1-1RBI, Sam Sanchez 0-1-1run scored, Bryanna Perez 1-1-3runs scored, Gabby Contreras 1-1-3runs scored and Gabi Sontoya 2-3-1run scored-2RBIs.
Defensive Leaders: Put-Outs: B. Figueroa 3, G. Contreras 3.
Floresville – The 5A Floresville Jaguars were next in line for the girls in blue. Natalia set the pace in their opening at bat, as they used two walks and a hit batter to give the girls in blue their first run of the game. The second two runs of the inning came when freshman Trista Vera blasted her sixth pitch over dead center field for a two run-home run.
Natalia went on to belt out a total of nine hits en route to an 8-1 dominating win over the maroon and white squad from Wilson County. Floresville was held to just one hit, thanks to another stellar performance on the mound by Garza and the Natalia defense which had 0 errors in the four and a half inning victory. Natalia also had six stolen bases and kept the Floresville defense, especially pitcher-catcher dazed and confused throughout.
Stats: Pitching: Garza pitched 5.0, allowed one hit, 0 runs and struck out nine. At bat: J. Figueroa 1-1-3runs scored, Morales 0-2, B. Figueroa 2-3-2RBIs, Garza 0-2-1run scored, Vera 1-1-1run scored-2RBIs, Castro 0-1, Guzman 2-3-1run scored, Perez 1-3, Contreras 1-3-1RBI and Sontoya 1-3-1run scored. Defensive Leaders: Put-Outs: B. Figueroa 9, Contreras 6.
Boerne Champion – Battling their second and final 5A program of the day on Friday, the girls in blue battled the Boerne Champion Lady Chargers.
Hot offense early paced Natalia once again, as JuJu Morales started things off with a sole home-run in their opening at bat. After watching Biviana Figueroa and Daniella Garza get on thanks to a hit-by-pitch and a walk, a single by Vera proved profitable scoring in both runners giving the girls in blue a 3-0 lead.
Natalia added three final runs in the top of the 5th inning, courtesy of a Morales single, a B. Figueroa double, and singles by Vera and D. Perez scoring the final runs for the Lady Stangs.
Defensively, Natalia was able to hold Boerne to five hits as the defense made a number of timely plays holding Champion off the scoreboard as 0 runners reached 3rd base during the five inning contest.
Stats: Pitching: Garza pitched 5.0, allowed 5 hits, struck out one and walked one. At bat: J. Figueroa 0-3, Morales 2-3-2runs scored-1RBI, B. Figueroa 2-2-2runs scored-1RBI, Garza 0-2-1run scored, Vera 2-3-1run scored-3RBIs, Guzman 1-2, B. Perez 0-2, D. Perez 1-3, Contreras 1-2, Sontoya 0-1. Defensive Leaders: Put-Outs: Contreras 9, D. Perez 2, Guzman 2.
Blanco – Big starts had been key to success for the girls in blue on Friday, so they started out the same way on Saturday morning against Blanco. Natalia accounted for four hits in their opening at bat which includes singles by Morales, Vera and D. Perez along with a double by Garza fueling a six run opening at bat.
Blanco responded with a three run first inning of their own as a three inning high scoring battle was officially underway.
Natalia was edged when time was called in the hit category 9-8, but the girls in blue held off a feisty Hill Country squad in a 10-6 victory.
Stats: Pitching: Garza pitched 1.1 allowing seven hits, six runs (five earned) and struck two out. Jimena Figueroa took the mound and threw 1.2, allowed two hits and struck out one. At bat: J. Figueroa 1-2-1runs scored-2RBIs, Morales 1-3-1run scored, B. Figueroa 2-2-3runs scored, Garza 2-2-2runs scored-3RBIs, Sontoya 0-1-1RBI, Vera 1-1, Castro 0-1, Guzman 0-1-1run scored, KK Lara 0-1-1run scored-1RBI, D. Perez 1-1-1run scored-1RBI and Contreras 0-1-1RBI. Defensive Leaders: Put-Outs: B. Figueroa 3, D. Perez 2, Contreras 2.
Medina Valley – For the first time in their youthful season, Natalia was held scoreless courtesy of the Medina Valley Lady Panthers. Putting the ball in play was not an issue, as Natalia only struck out three times in the contest. MV found ways to make play after play as the Lady Mustangs stranded just three runners on base during their six-inning loss.
MV finished with a 5-2 hit advantage en route to a 2-0 shut-out win versus the Lady Mustangs. This marked the second year in a row the black and orange were able to edge the girls in blue.
Stats: pitching: Garza pitched 6.0, allowed five hits, two runs, struck out 0. At Bat: J. Figueroa 1-3, Morales 0-3, B. Figueroa 1-3, Garza 0-1, Perez 0-2, Guzman 0-2, Zapata 0-2, Sontoya 0-2, D. Perez 0-2.
Kerrville Tivy – The tourney finale was a back and forth see-saw battle versus the home squad Lady Antlers.
Kerrville jumped on Natalia in their opening at bat, as they used a single and a double along with a fly out to take a 2-0 lead after one at bat.
Natalia was held scoreless until the 3rd inning, as they used a J. Figueroa single and two fly-outs in a row to score one run.
Tivy went back to work, scoring a pair of runs courtesy of two singles and a crucial error to take 4-1 lead on the girls in blue.
In the top of the 4th, Natalia cut their deficit in half thanks to a single by B. Perez and three straight ground-outs.
After holding Tivy scoreless in the bottom of the 4th, Natalia rallied ahead in the top of the 5th inning. They used a J. Figueroa single, a walk by Morales, a walk by Figueroa and a single by Garza to score three runs giving the Lady Mustangs a short-lived 5-4 lead.
Tivy was able to tie the game in the bottom of the 5th thanks to one error and a pair of singles.
After playing one extra inning, neither team was able to score and the game was called as a 5-5 tie resulting in Natalia finishing in 3rd place overall out of 10 teams. Natalia was without 3 starters during all three games on Saturday due to a church related event.
Stats: Pitching: Garza pitched 6.0, allowed seven hits, five runs, (four earned), struck out eight and walked two. At Bat: J. Figueroa 3-4-2runs scored, Morales 1-2-1run scored, B. Figueroa 1-2-1run scored-1RBI, Garza 2-3-1RBI, Perez 1-3-1run scored, Guzman 0-3, Zapata 0-3, Sontoya 1-2, D. Perez 0-3.
“Again during this tournament, we had young girls make plays such as Mena Figueroa and Trista Vera to name a few,” Coach Travis Crowley said. “We have come a long way and will continue to get better. One positive is we were tested in adverse situations and it showed a lot of our teams character and how much heart they have.”
Upcoming Tournament
Natalia will have another big weekend full of tests, as they travel to Atascosa County to the Jourdanton Squaw Tournament on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Natalia opens tourney action versus neighboring Devine in what will be their first true non-district game in 5+ years. This game is set for a 8:30 a.m. start. Natalia returns to action at 11:30 a.m. versus Cameron Yoe who is making the long road trip south. The final game of the day is at 4:00 p.m. versus a very talented 2A Sabinal Lady Jacket squad.
On Saturday, Natalia opens the day at 1:00 p.m. with their final pool game versus the 5A Southside Lady Cardinals.
Semi-final games will be at 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. with the championship set for 8:00 p.m. Saturday night.
Tuesday, February 27th the Lady Mustangs return to action with a tough road trip to Frio County to battle the Pearsall Lady Mavericks at 7:00 p.m.
By Eric Smith