BY MIKE MONTFORT —
Navarro softball extended its winning streak to five games with a conference doubleheader sweep over Kilgore here Friday at Jesse and Lou Cummings Field.
The Bulldogs slipped past the Lady Rangers 4-3 and 4-1 as they improved to 17-11 overall and 6-2 in East Zone play. Navarro currently sits in third place behind Tyler, which crushed Paris in a pair of five-inning games, 17-1 and 21-2, Friday.
Navarro rallied for an exciting first-game win Friday as third baseman Yasmin Melero belted a one-out, three-run home run to left field in the sixth inning off starter Katy Worrell to make the difference. Melero’s team-high fifth home run of the season put NC starter Chelsea Vandiver in position to nail down a complete-game victory.
Vandiver, who threw 134 pitches in the game, issued a two-out walk in the seventh. After a visit in the circle from head coach Jessica Karenke-Burke, Vandiver induced a fielder’s choice grounder that forced the potential tying run at second base and ended the game. She surrendered five hits, walked five, allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out six.
Kilgore got its first run in the top of the second as sophomore third baseman Kourtlin Hunter belted her fifth home run of the season.
The Lady Rangers added a run in the third as second baseman Hailey Nash walked and eventually evaded a rundown, sliding safely at home ahead of catchr Taylor Goulet’s tag.
NC sliced Kilgore’s lead in half in the bottom of the third as Zoe Miranda’s single to left plated Maddie Moore, who reached on an infield single and had moved to second on Camo Wells’ sacrifice bunt.
Kilgore secured a 3-1 lead in the fifth when shortstop Makenna Bell drew a bases-loaded walk that allowed catcher Shelby Edwards to score.
GAME 2: Navarro 4, Kilgore 1
Pitchers Makenzie Miller and Elisa Suarez combined on a seven-hitter as the Bulldogs completed the sweep. Miller worked 4.1 innings to claim the victory; Suarez earned the save with 2.2 innings of work.
NC scored twice in the first off Kilgore starter Devyn Power. Zoe Miranda’s infield hit enabled Maddie Moore to score the first run. Moore led off the home half of the first with a walk. Shortstop Camo Wells followed with a single, and scored on catcher Taylor Goulet’s sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs added a second-inning run as first baseman Izzy Murillo singled and scored on Moore’s two-out double to left field.
Suarez inherited a 3-0 lead with two runners aboard and one out in the fifth after she entered the circle, but she rendered the threat scoreless by getting Edwards on a inning-ending flyout to centerfield.
Goulet’s two-out single in the bottom of the fifth delivered Wells with Navarro’s fourth and final run of the game.