(Seguin) – A freshman at the plate with the game tied, bases loaded, and two outs in the first district game of the season? No problem if you’re Marissa Bradley.
Bradley, a freshman batting eighth for Seguin in her first year of varsity softball, handled that scenario by blasting a grand slam to cap the Matadors’ seven-run third inning in an 11-3 win over Lockhart to open the District 27-4A schedule Tuesday night at the SHS softball complex.
Seguin had just scratched out three runs to erase and early 3-0 deficit, and Bradley says she was calm with runners Kylee Osborne, Presley Pence, and Shyann Atchley on base as Lockhart’s veteran pitcher Amanda White went into her motion.
“I just knew that I’ve been playing for a long time, and there’s nothing I should be nervous about, and I should just play the game I know how to play,” Bradley said. “Honestly, I just didn’t want to strike out, because if I did, that would have been real bad, because there was two outs and the bases were loaded, so I was just trying to get good contact on the ball.”
“She’s special, and I tell you what, she’s still learning how to hit,” Seguin head coach John Garcia said of Bradley. “That’s the scary part. Once she gets all of her body involved, that’s going to be regular that you’re going to see from here, and it’s going to be even further.”
The Matadors added a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth to break the game open. After surrendering the three Lockhart runs on four hits in the top of the second, Seguin starter Vanessa Garza settled down and kept the Lions scoreless on two hits with a pair of strikeouts the rest of the way.
Lockhart had the makings of a two-out rally with runners at first and third in the top of the fifth after a double by Alex Hedspeth and a single by Katelyn Tull, but Garza fielded her position brilliantly to end the threat. The Lion’s No. 3 hitter Alyssa Barrientez ripped a line drive straight at Garza, and the Seguin junior snagged it out of mid-air for the final out.
Lockhart’s only base-runner from that point reached on a two-out error in the sixth.
Garza also went 2-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles, one run, and one RBI. Atchley finished 2-3, drove in three, scored twice, and put down a sacrifice bunt. Whitney Wendel and Kylee Osborne each went 2-4 and scored twice, and Wendel’s second hit was a double. Presley Pence hit an RBI-single, bunted for a base hit, and scored once. Tate Smith went 1-4 with a run scored. Skylar Loftin and Trinity Cash each recorded a hit, and Cash drove in a run. Lyz Raderstorf scored once.
All nine spots in the batting order produced at least one run or RBI, much to the delight of Garcia.
“Everybody we called on, everything we asked for – short game, hit the ball, get it out of the infield, people off the bench – I mean, you just can’t put together a more than that,” the coach said.
Much like Seguin, Lockhart has been a perennial playoff team and district championship contender in recent seasons, but the Lions have had the Matadors’ number in head-to-head district meetings. The Lions owned a six-game district winning streak over Seguin that spanned three seasons before Tuesday, with the Matadors’ last district win in the series coming in 2013. Garcia hopes the reversal of that trend Tuesday night is a sign of bigger things to come.
“This is really huge,” Garcia said. “If you remember the last three or four years they’ve been in our district, we’ve always been the first game with them, and they’ve always run-ruled us. This year, we’ve kind of returned the favor, and so we’ve got the momentum going into that Dripping Springs game, which is going to be huge.”
Seguin is 1-0 in district play, 5-7 overall. The Matadors host their annual tournament at Huber Ranch today through Saturday, then resume the 26-5A schedule against the team that eliminated them in the 5A area playoffs last season – Dripping Springs – with a 7 p.m. road game next Tuesday.