Results from Navarro softball’s ambitious weekend schedule?
All positive for an early February weekend, unaffected by weather. Not only were games against 12th ranked Wallace State-Hanceville, sixth-rated Butler and Region V foe Cisco played, but the Bulldogs appear poised to join the NJCAA rankings after winning three of four.
Already on the preseason poll’s fringe, Navarro had won seven of its last eight games and improved to 12-5 overall.
The eventful weekend began here Friday with an 8-7 and 10-2 sweep of Wallace State-Hanceville that gave NC its third win over the Lions within a week. Navarro extended its winning streak to six games by rallying for a nine-inning win in Game 1, and securing a five-inning, run-rule win in Game 2 on Miranda Worthington’s walkoff, three-run home run.
Then, on Saturday at the Coyote Chillout in Weatherford, NC extended Butler to extra innings and claimed a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth only to see the Grizzlies pull off a game-winning rally. The Bulldogs bounced back from that loss with an 8-5 win over a Cisco club that earlier had beaten Region XIV rivals Northeast Texas and Paris back-to-back during Weatherford’s weekend meet at Stuart Field.
Game 1: Navarro 8, Wallace State 7 (9 innings)
NC rallied with a pair of two-strike, two-out hits to force the extra frames. No. 9 hitter Jaclyn Kresta lined a two-strike, two-out double high off the rightfield fence in the 7th inning. Leadoff hitter Gabby Martinez legged out an infield hit and Kresta steamed home with the tying run as the safe call at first base was disputed.
In the 9th, Kresta blooped a 1-2 offering down the leftfield line. Onrushing leftfielder Olivia Royals collided with Wallace’s back-pedalling third baseman and dropped the softball. That enabled Kaitlin Gorden, pinch-running for Nicole Matise to score the winning run. Matise cracked a one-out double off Wallace State losing pitcher Shelby Brown.
Martinez went 3-for-4 and scored twice for NC, which rallied from 2-0 and 6-3 deficits. Third baseman Kenzie McGallion singled twice, scored two runs and knocked in a sixth-inning run. Every batter in the Bulldog lineup contributed to a 14-hit attack backing starter Stephanie Buenrostro and winning reliever Katelyn Cooper.
Game 2: Navarro 10, Wallace State 2 (5)
Worthington slugged her team-leading sixth home run of the season – a two-out, three-run walkoff shot over the left-centerfield fence – as Navarro completed the sweep.
Worthington knocked in four runs in Game 2. Kresta delivered a run-scoring double and two singles in as many trips to the plate. Anika Barbosa doubled twice and knocked in two runs. Gabby Martinez walked four times and scored twice.
NC scored twice in the first and added four in the second off second-game starter Shelby Brown, who also suffered the nightcap loss.
Game 1: Butler 4, Navarro 3 (9)
Butler broke a scoreless tie in the second when Becca Schulte stole third base, then scored on a wildpitch. Morgan Heckart then gave the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead with an RBI single to score Brynn Minor.
Navarro would eventually tie the contest, picking up solo runs in the third and sixth inning. The Bulldogs had three straight hits to start the sixth inning and had two runners in scoring position with no outs. However, Butler pitcher Regan Mergele worked her way out of the pitching jam with three straight groundouts to third baseman Danae Bina.
Both teams left runners stranded at third in the eighth, then Navarro broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth inning when Kaitlin Gorden hit a RBI single to right field.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with one out, pinch runner Haylee Lorenz scored from third when a throw sailed past first base on Danae Bina’s sacrifice attempt. Waggnor then singled through the left side of the infield to move Bina into scoring position. Two batters later, Megan Wurts hit a bloop single to center to score Bina to win the game.
Game 2: Navarro 8, Cisco 3
The Bulldogs scored three in the third and four more in the fourth and took advantage of four Cisco errors.
McGallion had two of Navarro’s six hits and knocked in three runs. Barbosa went 1-for-4 with two RBI, and Kresta went 2-for-2, scored twice and drove in another run.
Winning pitcher Casey Peters (1-0) scattered seven hits, two walks and two earned runs in four innings of work.