JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
CANYON LAKE — A 3-2 win against Gonzales on April 30 meant more than taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three bi-district series for the Burnet High School softball team.
“It’s the first playoff win for this program,” Lady Dawgs head coach Corey Bledsoe said. “It’s awesome. I’m proud of our girls.”
Game 2 is 6 p.m. May 1 at Bastrop Cedar Creek, 793 Union Chapel Road in Cedar Creek. Game 3, if necessary, will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second contest. Go to KBEYFM.com to listen to the series.
The Lady Dawgs (19-4-2 overall, 7-5 in District 26-4A) scored a run in the third inning and two in the fourth off 14 hits.
Gonzales (14-14) scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning that stayed with Burnet players and coaches.
The Apaches’ lead-off batter laid down a bunt for which the Lady Dawgs were ready. But the throw to first was too high and the runner was safe. She then stole second. The next batter’s hit forced the infielder into hesitation on what to do with the ball, which allowed both runners to remain on base. The following batter brought both runs home.
Other than that sequence, Bledsoe was pleased with his team’s defense.
“I thought our defense played well,” he said. “They made solid contact with the ball. In the sixth inning, we had a little bit of adversity we learned to play through. Our defense played well throughout the night. We played well for each other, played smart.”
The Lady Dawgs returned to the field in the bottom of the seventh to close out the game and had to face the Apaches’ fourth, fifth and sixth hitters in the batting order. Bledsoe said he had no doubt about the outcome.
“I had confidence in them,” he said. “It’s a battle pitch to pitch.”
The coach said the big adjustment for the second game is scoring runs. He was pleased with the 14 hits; however, the Lady Dawgs need to plate more runs. The challenge, he said, is two-fold. Gonzales plays very good defense and wasn’t worried about base runners, he said, and the Lady Dawgs, who were used to taking extra bases on some hits, committed mental errors that allowed the Apaches to throw them out.
“We hit the ball hard,” Bledsoe said, “but we hit some hard balls to fielders. They doubled us up a few times. We got aggressive on bases, and they made plays to throw us out.
“They’re a team that knows how to play,” he added. “You could tell those girls played a lot of softball and played well together. They kept their composure.”
As for Game 2, Bledsoe said the Lady Dawgs are preparing for the Apaches’ best effort.
“They’ll bring it tonight,” he said. “Those 14 hits, let’s try to convert those into runs. I want us to be aggressive and put pressure on them defensively.”
ON OFFENSE: RBIs – Vanessa Escamilla 1, Mackenzie Carpenter 1
ON DEFENSE: Pitcher Carpenter, 2 unearned runs off 2 hits with no walks and 15 strikeouts