York, Lady Deer blank Baytown Sterling 5-0
LEAGUE CITY - After the last three days, it was very welcome to see a slice of normal life return for the Deer Park High School athletic scene.
Talk of raging fires, billowing black smoke and shelter in place finally got shoved to the back of everyone’s minds, especially for the Deer Park girls softball team who just wanted to resume their quest for a District 21-6A championship.
And resume it they did, although not in the location they would have preferred, as a strong pitching performance from Julia York led the Lady Deer to a 5-0 victory over Baytown Sterling at Clear Creek High School Wednesday night.
For the second consecutive district contest, the bats produced four doubles, three of the two-baggers driving in runs as Deer Park upped its district record to a spotless 5-0.
Aside from going 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position, the team showed little rust from their eight days without a game and just one practice in the gym this week and nothing obviously outside.
“We’re probably not as bad off as some others,” said Deer Park head coach Errica Cantu, who held practices last Wednesday and Saturday during spring break, following district wins on Monday and Tuesday.
Those practices proved to be huge, based on what unfolded Sunday morning, putting life on hold in Deer Park for three days.
For York, she stuck a cork in Sterling’s big bottle of bats.
The Rangers never got a baserunner into scoring position until the seventh inning when York issued two walks, bringing on Addison Lehew to finish the shutout.
York, who was the winning pitcher in the 16-1 victory over C.E. King on March 12, pitched a two-hitter, but a 5-4-3 double play in the first inning, started by third baseman K.K. Morado, erased one of Sterling’s two singles.
At one point, she retired 10 straight Lady Rangers, beginning with the double play ball. She struck out six and walked three.
“She had really good control. When we can rely on that, it helps out a lot. We have really good pitchers that are waiting and ready to come in. When she had the two walks in the seventh inning, it was easy to go to somebody else,” Cantu said.
The only runs York needed were the two chased home by Amaya Montano, who clouted the first of the four doubles, scoring Morado and Alaina Cortez in the second inning.
Morado, who singled in the second inning, singled again in the third, raising the lead to 3-0, scoring Haydyn Hardcastle,
The team’s second and third doubles of the night had Courtney Plocheck and Jayse Roberts doing the honors. Plocheck ripped a ball that the second baseman deflected into shallow right field and Roberts deposited a ball down the left-field line.
For Plocheck, she’s extremely red-hot with the bat. Since a sixth inning at-bat against North Shore, the junior is 6-for-8 with a run-scoring sacrifice fly. Included in the surge are three doubles.
The fourth two-bagger was smacked by Kaurie Winters, who plated Montano.
GAME NOTES: Cantu said there was talk of Wednesday’s game being played at North Shore, Doll Forrest or Clear Creek and Clear Creek won out. … The tiny dugouts at Clear Creek’s field hopefully made the Lady Deer appreciative of their spacious, lighted dugouts at Doll Forrest Field. Now if they can just play a game there again. … No 400-meter runners were clunked on the head by a foul ball during the game. A Clear Creek ISD junior high track meet was unfolding next to the softball field.