By MIKE MONTFORT —
Weather permitting Saturday, Navarro softball will play a Region XIV East Zone doubleheader at Paris against the Dragons, looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 6-0, 10-8 loss to Angelina.
Angelina (28-8/4-4) secured the sweep, ran its winning streak to four games and slipped past the Bulldogs into fourth place in the conference standings. NC (18-18/4-6) has dropped three of four since returning from spring break.
Game 1: Angelina 6, Navarro 0
Whitney Howerton pitched a complete game, five-hit shutout in the opener. She threw 108 pitches, walked two batters and struck out six.
Angelina managed nine hits off three Navarro pitchers and stranded a total of 15 runners in the game. Designated hitter Taylor Davis stroked a seventh-inning leadoff home run to cap the scoring.
After a second-inning leadoff single by Kaylee Parker and a walk to Jordan Kisselburg, Megan Conner’s groundout to second base plated Angelina’s first run. Gaby Martinez’ two-out error covering second base extended an inning and enabled Kisselburg to score the second run.
Run-scoring singles by third baseman Lauren Garza and Davis pushed Angelina’s lead to 4-0. Reliever Kellyn Cormier replaced starter Ashley Smith and ended the rally, expending one pitch to get Kali Holcomb to pop up to third baseman Yasmin Melero in foul territory.
Smith threw 110 pitches during her 4.2 inning stint, allowing six hits, five walks and one hit-batter, and four runs.
Game 2: Angelina 10, Navarro 8
Navarro held a 4-3 lead after a first inning that featured a pair of three-run homers.
AC took a 3-0 lead when Kaylee Parker slugged a home run over the leftfield fence that scored Garza and Davis, who each slapped long gap singles off starter Casey Peters to begin the contest.
Navarro countered with a four-run first inning off Howerton, who started Game 2. The inning was powered by catcher Taylor Goulet’s three-run home run — her sixth of the season. The Bulldogs first run came when Alissa Chaves singled home shortstop Lindy Kennedy, who doubled.
Angelina took a 5-4 lead in the top of the second when Shay Vegas slapped a two-out, two-run triple that delivered Davis (walk) with the tying run and Holcomb (double) with the go-ahead run.
NC gained a 5-5 tie in the third when Goulet’s one-out single scored Anika Barbosa who had reached safely on a error.
The Bulldogs followed with single runs in the fourth and fifth to claim a 7-5 lead.
In the fourth, Jaclyn Kresta doubled into the rightfield corner and scored when Lindy Kennedy reached safely on a pitcher’s throwing error on a comebacker.
In the fifth, Barbosa tripled to right and scored on a cutoff player’s fielding error.
Davis tied it at 7 in the sixth with a one-out, two-run single and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
Other Region XIV East Zone doubleheaders Wednesday were sweeps. Tyler defeated Kilgore by 10-0 and 2-0 counts; BPCC clubbed TVCC 10-1, 12-2; and Northeast Texas took the measure of Paris, 3-2 and 9-1.
Saturday’s East Zone Schedule
Navarro at Paris (DH), 1/3 pm
Tyler at Angelina (DH), 1/3 pm
BPCC at Northeast (DH), 1/3 pm
TVCC at Kilgore (DH), 1/3 pm