Lady Mustangs win Bi-District title

On paper, the Natalia Lady Mustangs dominated Skidmore-Tynan in the Bi-District Playoff one game series last Friday night in Natalia.
For the 400+ in attendance, they saw a slightly different game. There were a number of positives throughout for the girls in blue, but overall Natalia didn’t quite play to their potential and put away Skidmore-Tynan early enough like many expected.
What they did do, was play well enough to get past 29-3A’s 4th seed Lady Cats allowing them to advance to the Area Playoffs where they will face a much better Bishop Lady Badger squad.
The Area Playoffs begin tonight in Live Oak County at a recently renovated Lady Bulldog Field in Three Rivers. Natalia is well aware; they will need to play to their potential, if they want to end a drought of three straight years, of losing out in this round of the playoffs.
“Abi Woodson shut-down Skidmore-Tynan, throwing a complete game for us, striking out nine and leading us toward victory,” Natalia Assistant Coach Tara Cortinas said.
On paper, Woodson did have a phenomenal game, allowing just two hits, walking one and striking out nine. What the stats don’t tell you is the fact she was not truly on her top game, but the freshman found a way to come back after getting behind in various counts to win battles when they counted most.
Defensively, Natalia had two errors which nearly proved fatal for the girls in blue. The girls in blue also had two base running errors (both times player was sent).
In their opening at bat, Skidmore-Tynan flew out to right field for the first out of the game. 2nd baseman Keese then reached on an error by Natalia’s short-stop. Woodson then walked the lone batter of the game, allowing the Coastal Bend squad to get two on with one out.
Woodson stepped up when it counted, striking out two in a row to end the threat.
Natalia’s Taty Alvarado started their first at bat off with a single. Unfortunately, one fly out and two straight ground-outs ended any hopes of scoring.
The girls in blue shut-down Skidmore-Tynan allowing just one hit in the 2nd and 0 in the 3rd inning, before coming alive offensively.
To start off the bottom of the 3rd, Natalia watched as Bryanna Perez flew out to left field before watching Gabby Contreras get on with a single. Natalia then used an error put into play by Alvarado and a fielder’s choice put into play by KK Lara to get things rolling. Alvarado and Lara would score on a double by Bivi Figueroa allowing Natalia to take a 2-0 lead.
Next up, Natalia’s Trista Vera was able to single and this is when Skidmore got a huge out on a throw from left field to home tagging Natalia’s runner out for out #3.
In the top of the 4th, Natalia used an F-4, a 2-3 defensive play and a Woodson K to assure no chance of a Skidmore-Tynan rally.
Natalia had a chance in the bottom of the 4th, as Gabi Munoz, who went 2-3 on the night, got on with a two out single. A fly-out later ended hopes of scoring another run.
Skidmore got their second and final hit of the game in the top of the 5th, but great defensive plays by Mena Figueroa, Dani Garza and Taty Alvarado along with a Woodson K ended any hopes of the Lady Cats scoring.
Natalia scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the 5th. This came with two outs, as senior Dani Garza who had missed the last 4+ weeks returned to the line-up. She knocked a single into play, and eventually scored thanks to a Bivi Figueroa double. Figueroa also went 2-3 on the night to lead the Lady Stangs, funneling across the 3rd and final run of the Bi-District battle.
Skidmore would only get one runner on base during the final two innings of the contest, as the Lady Stangs held on for the 3-0 victory claiming their 12th Bi-District victory in program history (not counting byes).
At bat: Dani Garza 1-2-2runs scored, Trista Vera 1-3, Taty Alvarado 1-3-1run scored, Gabi Munoz 2-3, Gabby Contreras 1-2, Mena Figueroa 0-3, KK Lara 0-1, Bryanna Perez 0-3, Abi Woodson 0-3, Bivi Figueroa 2-3-3RBIs.
Defensive Put-Outs: B.Figueroa 11, Contreras 4, Gabby Santoya 2, Garza 1, Vera 1, Alvarado 1, M.Figueroa 1. Assists: Alvarado 2, M.Figueroa 2, B.Figueroa 1.
Bishop awaits Natalia in Area Playoffs
The Bishop Lady Badgers (25-7, 10-2) will await the Natalia Lady Mustangs in the Class 3A, Region IV Playoffs. Bishop won 2nd place in 31-3A, losing both district games to defending state champion Santa Gertrudis Academy.
By Eric Smith