Lady Deer softball pulverizing 21-6A foes
If Errica Cantu had any first-season jitters upon becoming Deer Park High School’s new head softball coach, her players have already completely removed them.
In a word, the team is pulverizing the District 21-6A competition along with Cantu’s first-season jitters.
After opening the second tour to the race this past Friday with a 16-0 win over Channelview, to go with the 16-1 rout in the first round, it’s just a matter of when Deer Park wins the District 21-6A title not if.
The Lady Deer have almost forgotten what it’s like to play a seven-inning district game. In five of their opening eight 21-6A victories, the team has forced the mercy rule.
But even the somewhat competitive 5-0 win over Baytown Sterling played down at Clear Creek High School during the ITC tank farm fire scare wasn’t suspenseful whatsoever.
For that matter, neither was the 11-3 win over La Porte in which the team scored the opening five runs and responded to a pair of La Porte runs by sending 11 batters to the plate in the home half of the fourth to score four additional runs.
No, the one and only solid test that Cantu’s girls have received so far was the come-from-behind, 4-3 road win at North Shore on March 11 during spring break.
And that happens to be Deer Park’s opponent at Doll Forrest Field Friday night for Teacher Appreciation Night. Game time is 7:30.
North Shore, despite owning a 1-1 record entering that game, was Deer Park’s equal that day. Now the question is, will the Lady Mustangs be every bit as equal for Contest No. 2?
North Shore starting pitcher Catalina Cavazos and her rise ball didn’t allow any Deer Park batters to reach third base through the opening five innings.
In five of the first seven innings, Deer Park was unable to get its leadoff girl on the basepaths, including the seventh inning. That was the inning the Lady Deer were staring at a 3-1 deficit, but a shortstop’s error, a Sara Vanderford triple and a Courtney Plocheck sac fly tied the game.
Then came Jasie Roberts’ dramatic home run to start the eighth, completing the comeback that looked and smelled like a defeat for six-and-a-third innings.
Up and down the lineup, North Shore’s girls hit the ball with authority. Two balls got smacked to the fence, including a triple by leadoff batter Melanie Montes that put Deer Park in a 2-0 hole.
And were it not for Roberts’ terrific catch of a sinking shot in right field with the bases loaded, Deer Park would probably have a blemish on its won-loss record right now.
So come Friday night, Deer Park fans will see if that was the true North Shore team or if the Lady Deer were suffering from a severe case of spring breakitis, a malady that only strikes athletic teams during spring break.