By MIKE MONTFORT —
MIDLAND — Bulldog softball enjoyed a 4-1 weekend at the Midland Spring Classic and improved its season mark to 8-6 overall.
The weekend’s only blemish occurred during the final game Saturday when Howard, ranked 17th in the NJCAA Preseason Poll, secured a 6-2 win over coach Jessica Karenke-Burke’s club. In succession, Navarro had rattled off a come-from-behind win over Odessa, shut outs over Colorado teams from Otero and Lamar CC on Friday, and a run-ruled victory Saturday morning over Pratt, Ks.
Navarro is scheduled this week to play a 1 pm Wednesday non-conference doubleheader against the fifth-ranked McLennan Highlassies in Waco. The Bulldogs will face Weatherford and Howard on Friday in a preseason round-robin at Weatherford.
FRIDAY Game 1: Navarro 8, Odessa 5
Anika Barbosa and Alissa Chavez each homered and combined for five runs batted in as the Bulldogs rallied with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to defeat the Lady Wranglers. Shortstop Lindy Kennedy went 2-for-3, scored twice and stole three bases for Navarro.
Ashley Smith pitched four innings of three-hit relief and struck out four to record the win.
FRIDAY Game 2: Navarro 9, Otero CC, Col., 0 (5 innings)
The Bulldogs parlayed nine bases-on-balls with seven stolen bases, selectively inserted among three hits to shut out the Rattlers from La Junta, Col., in a run-ruled contest.
Designated player Makenzie McGallion accounted for two of Navarro’s hits and leftfielder Jaclyn Kresta had the other one. Leadoff-hitting second baseman Gaby Martinez stole two bases and scored four runs.
Winning pitcher Ashley Smith gave up two hits and two walks in five innings and registered five strikeouts.
FRIDAY Game 3: Navarro 3, Lamar CC, Col., 0
Navarro tallied all three of its runs in the top of the fourth, more than enough support to back the four-hit shutout pitching of route-going lefthander Casey Peters (3-1).
Leftfielder Alissa Chavez knocked in two runs. Rightfielder Taylor Goulet and catcher Jaclyn Kresta doubled.
Lamar starter Larissa Royer (1-1) struck out nine in a seven-inning performance and absorbed the loss.
SATURDAY, Game 1: Navarro 12, Pratt 4 (6 innings)
Shortstop Lindy Kennedy went three-for-four with two doubles and a triple, scored three runs and knocked in five as Navarro buried winless Pratt.
Gaby Martinez went three-for-four, scored twice and knocked in another to back the pitching of Danielle Salas and Ashley Smith. Salas yielded four unearned runs and hit two batters in 4.2 innings.
SATURDAY, Game 2: Howard 6, Navarro 2
Catcher Taylor Goulet hit a seventh-inning solo homer and designated player Kaitlin Gorden’s bases-loaded walk helped NC avert a shutout in its final game. Goulet and Gorden produced two of Navarro’s five hits in the game.
Pitcher Kellyn Cormier worked six innings for the Bulldogs and surrendered nine hits.