Fort, Guillen lift Lady Oilers past Brazoswood
If it seemed like a long evening for the Brazoswood softball team Friday, that’s because, in truth, it was a Fort-night.
Pearland pitcher Alyssa Fort supported her complete-game performance with a two-run single in the fifth inning, helping lift the Lady Oilers to an important 9-2 win in a District 23-6A matchup at the Pearland softball complex.
The win improved Pearland to 10-6 overall, but more importantly, 5-0 in league games.
While not overpowering, Fort was reliable in the circle, allowing just five hits while striking out four.
“I knew I had to throw strikes and stay ahead of the batters,” Fort said. “I just wanted to pitch to my defense because I have confidence in them.
“As long as we’re not making errors, we’re a good team, and we were solid tonight.”
After Brazoswood had taken a 2-1 lead in the third inning on singles by Amberly Phillips and Taylor Meyer and a double by Kylie Jack, Pearland was in search of some offensive punch.
The Lady Oilers finally found it in the fourth inning when, after a leadoff walk to Kayla Gonzalez, second baseman Maddie Guillen crushed a home run over the left-field fence to provide Pearland with a 3-2 cushion it wouldn’t relinquish.
“I was just taking a different approach because the first time I batted I kind of struggled,” Guillen said. “I waited on the ball, and it went far.
“I didn’t know it was going out - I was just running.”
The two-run shot was also the boost of adrenaline Fort needed.
“I called her home run,” Fort said. “(Guillen) can get in her own head, and I just tried to calm her down, and I said ‘You’ve got this.’
“We both knew what the pitcher throws. I just told her to go up there with confidence, and Maddie knows what to do with the ball. I was very happy for her.”
Pearland would add three runs in the fifth inning following infield singles from Bridgett Verchiens and Rylie Martin.
Fort then punched her single to right field to stake the Lady Oilers to a 5-2 lead. She would advance to second on the throw to the plate, and Pearland’s sixth run would score when Kayla Gonzalez’s grounder to third was misplayed.
The Lady Oilers’ advantage swelled to 9-2 in the sixth after Gabby Davila reached on an error and Verchiens beat out an infield grounder.
Martin then doubled home both runners for an 8-2 score. After Fort and Natalie Myers were retired, Gonzalez doubled to right-center to make it 9-2.
The Lady Oilers’ first run crossed the plate in the second inning on catcher Bella Rodriguez’s RBI-single to right after a leadoff walk to Myers.
“Bella Rodriguez did a great job of settling Alyssa down,” Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark said. “She kept Alyssa in her groove, and was a total leader on the field. And Bella hit the ball well, too.
“Maddie’s home run came at the right time. Throughout the game, I thought we had some pretty timely hits. We had a game plan, and we worked it in as the innings went by. We had a lot of energy in the dugout, too…it was just a total team effort.”
Pearland made only two errors, neither of which led to runs.
“Maddie could have given up on a ball one time, and so could a couple of other players, but they didn’t, stayed with the play and made it. That’s what you have to do.”
Through a weather-plagued season, Pearland is starting to find its niche.
“We are being consistent, but there’s a lot more that could happen from quite a few people on this team,” Clark said. “But you know, you don’t win championships in March. Our goal is to get better in April and May.
“We’re happy with the win. Brazoswood is a very well-coached team with good kids, and they’re historically one of the best teams in our area. Anytime you get a win over them, it’s big.”