Softball: Atascocita’s Garza pitches two hitter to defeat Kingwood for the season sweep
Mikayla Garza pitched a two hitter as Atascocita defeated rival Kingwood 2-0 in a District 22-6A game Friday night at Mustangs field.
The Lady Eagles ended the Lady Mustangs’ three-game winning streak to open the second half of district play.
The Eagles came into the game having lost three of their last four district games, but earned the season sweep of Kingwood with the victory.
“This is a big one,” said Atascocita coach Ashley Boyd. “We have been working through some things. At the end of the day, it was the girls putting too much pressure on themselves and forgetting to just have fun and play the game. Anytime you’re playing your biggest rival is huge. I think we did a good job, and maybe this is a turning point for the second half of the season.”
“That’s a great team over there,” Boyd added. “They pitch well, they have great bats in the lineup, and they have great defense. We had to scrap and claw to find a way to win today.”
Garza only allowed a hit in the first and sixth innings and had six strikeouts in the circle to get the win for the Lady Eagles (6-4). The sophomore right handed pitcher retired eight Lady Mustangs (5-4) in a row at one point in the game.
“I just wanted to relax,” Garza said. “I just had to take deep breaths and move my pitches around the plate. Kingwood is our rival and to beat them is going to give us momentum going forward. The last couple of games were tough, but we have stuck together as a team.”
Boyd saw a lot of promise in her young right hander.
“She did an amazing job and had ice in her veins today,” Boyd said. She made big pitches when she needed it, she established both sides of the plate with her off speed, and it was a huge game from her. I expect that from her every day.”
The Lady Eagles first run came in the top of the second after a RBI single by Skylar Wilabay.
“I think it hyped everyone up,” Wilabay said. “Once that happened everyone wanted to keep passing the bat on and on. It was important to get this win to start the second half of district. We have a clean slate now.”
Atascocita took advantage of a Kingwood error in the bottom of the sixth inning to put runners on the corners with one out.
Kelsie Kelso hit a RBI single to give the Lady Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Kingwood had their chance in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded, but Garza made her pitches to get out of the inning.
“Atascocita came up with the clutch hits, and we didn’t,” said Kingwood coach Lauren Hendrix. “We didn’t have that clutch hit that put us over the edge.”
Kingwood got routed in the first district game of the season, but has battled back in district to make a run at a playoff spot.
The Lady Mustangs handed Summer Creek their first district loss of the season and that victory sparked a three-game winning streak.
Kingwood will be looking for a strong finish in the second half of district play.
“I’m happy with the improvement and the adjustments we’re making,” Hendrix said. “They have put in a lot of hard work. They show up every day ready to improve each day at practice. We’re proud of what they’re doing and we just have to take it one game at a time.”
Now, Atascocita will look to keep build off the win and start a winning streak in the second half of district.
“We don’t necessarily focus on other teams, we focus on ourselves,” Boyd said. We got away from that for a little bit in the first half of the season and now we just need to play our game.”
District 22-6A round up
Summer Creek remains in first place in district after splitting their two games.
The Lady Bulldogs (6-2) defeated Sam Houston 19-0 on Tuesday for a win, but lost a 8-7 decison to Pasadena Memorial for their second district loss of the season.
Humble picked up two wins to keep them alive in the playoff race.
The Lady Wildcats shutout Atascocita 2-0 for their first win of the week.
Humble opened up its brand new softball field with a 2-1 win over Sam Rayburn on Friday night.
The Lady Wildcats are playing with five starting freshman under first year head coach Bill Gonzales.