No. 22 Lady Tigers muzzle Millsap
Lady Tiger softball wasn't perfect in the first round of district, but it was pretty darn good.
No. 22 Glen Rose (11-4, 6-1) roared late versus Millsap March 30 in a 12-0 run rule thanks to a seven-run fifth. The Lady Tigers, state ranked for the first time since the beginning of the 2013 season, finished with more hits (6-0) and fewer errors (2-5).
"We blanked them, and that's what I thought we should've done coming in," said coach Kiel Miller. "We played a little down to their level early on, swinging at a lot of bat pitches. Later on, we either walked or swung at good pitches."
K.K. Aper (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 3 W, 2 HBP, 1 K) and Taya Vasquez (3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 2 K) combined for a no-hitter. Vasquez came in during the second inning with two on and one out.
"If we'd jumped out to a big early lead, I probably wouldn't have gone to Taya early, but it was still a close game and I didn't want to risk them getting going," Miller said. "Taya didn't have to throw a lot of pitches and got us a W."
Vasquez (double, single, 2 RBIs) and Brittany Miller (2 singles, RBI) led the offense.
"Brittany is hitting the ball better, making solid contact," the coach said.
Other contributors were Page Green (double, 3 RBIs), Aper (single) and Destenie Lewis (RBI). Before being pulled against the last Glen Rose batter of the night, the Millsap starter issued 13 walks and hit a batter.
"I remembered to calm down, because I usually psych myself out when there are people on base," Green said of the double. "Relaxing has really helped me with my batting."
Glen Rose went up 1-0 in the first with a Green walk (stolen base, to third on error) and a Vasquez RBI sac fly. Aper got herself in trouble in the home first with the bases loaded and one out, but centerfielder Sabrina Watson and second baseman Sydney Lozier made plays for her.
Aper singled in a scoreless second inning, as Glen Rose left the bases loaded.
Vasquez registered a strikeout and forced a groundout to Lozier to get off the field after she took over in the circle in the home second.
"Sydney is relaxed and knows what she's doing," Green said. "Everything comes natural to her."
Glen Rose made it 2-0 in the third with a Lewis walk, a Vasquez double to deep left and a Miller RBI single. The Lady Tigers did have a baserunner either thrown out or picked off for the third-straight inning.
"A couple of them were indecisiveness by me, but we need to sharpen up," Miller said. "Taya put the bat on the ball and hit it pretty hard, especially the double over the left fielder's head."
In the home third, shortstop Lewis made a running snag on a lineout, while Lozier handled two more outs.
"Sydney did a solid job," Miller said of the freshman. "They were late on fastballs, so that means those players on the right side will be real busy."
Glen Rose went up 5-0 in the fourth via a Lozier walk, Watson being hit by a pitch, a Green walk, a Lewis RBI fielder's choice, a run on a wild pitch and a Vasquez RBI single.
Vasquez retired the side in the home fourth, as Watson tracked down another fly ball.
"We knew they'd struggle with fastballs, so Taya just went with that and changeups," Miller said. "Then our defense made plays."
Glen Rose blew the game wide open in the fifth. After three-straight walks, Watson hit the ball to the third baseman and an error made it 6-0. Green followed with a three-RBI double (third on throw) to left field (9-0).
"The bases were loaded, so they had to give Page something to hit," Miller said. "She's a great batter to have up there in that situation, and she connected solid with it."
A throwing error made it 10-0, and then a fielding error on an Aper ground ball made it 11-0, as Miller singled along the way. A passed ball finalized the 12-0 score.
"Brittany has really stepped up," Green said. "She is always there for our (voluntary) weekend practices, wanting extra work to get better."
Although the first Millsap batter in the home fifth reached on a rare Lewis error, the next batter was out on a sac bunt to Miller. The lead runner tried to get to third, but first baseman Aper fired the ball across the diamond and catcher Green had sprinted down to make a tag for the double play. The next batter popped out to Vasquez to end the game.
"Usually a girl will try to steal third there, and Brittany was still up, so I made it there and K.K. made a great throw right to me," Green said.
"It looks great, but that's not the way we draw it up in practice," Miller said. "It's kind of nerve wracking, but it shows great athleticism on Page's part."
The Lady Tigers begin the second round of district April 3 at Rio Vista at 5:30 p.m.
"It's awesome," Green said of the team's 6-1 mark in 11-3A thus far with the lone loss coming to No. 8 Grandview. "It really gets our self esteem up. We're ready for next round, and we're going to push ourselves to be better."