Adelaida Sierra takes the circle in the Lady Rattlers District Opener against Schertz Clemens. San Marcos knocked off the Lady Buffaloes 4-3 in a tight game.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo
Lady Rattlers take district opener in close win
It was opening night in 6A District-27 softball Tuesday as the San Marcos Lady Rattlers (4-9, 1-0) escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Schertz-Clemens Buffaloes starting district play with a bang.
The Lady Rattlers, led by freshman ace Adelaida Sierra’s complete game and six strikeouts, the strong hitting of senior catcher Jessica Deleon and senior Kayli Saenz who each had two RBIs, and senior Brycelyn Pinales’ clutch defense, San Marcos squeezed out a one-run district home win.
“They (Clemens) were a good team and we have been battling through some adversity, untimely injuries, fatigue, and we really needed this game,” said Lady Rattler head coach Cathy Stoughton. “We hit the ball tonight, moved runners when we needed to, and Addy was great in the circle.”
San Marcos jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Deleon knocked home the first run of the game, plating Eliza Lozano to give the Rattlers the lead. Lozano was able to get into scoring position with two stolen bases.
“Eliza is a smart base runner. She had the delayed steal to get into scoring position,” Stoughton said. “That was key for us. If she doesn’t do that, I don’t think we score the run. She is a senior, a leader, and she has had to step into the leadoff position with (CJ Castilla) out. She handled it with poise.”
The freshman ace was in control for the first three innings as she contained the Buffaloes’ hitters, holding them without a hit until the fourth inning. Clemens cracked the scoring column, notching the score at 1 apiece.
The Lady Rattlers broke the tie in the bottom half of the inning as they loaded the bases with some timely hits and drew three walks against the Buffaloes ace pitcher.
“Kayli (Saenz) came up really clutch with that hit and scored both of us (Pinales and senior Ava Serna) to give us the lead,” Pinales said. “Along with her, Jessica (Deleon) had very timely hits.”
Sierra with her lady Rattler defense behind her, continued to hold the lead keeping Clemens off the scoreboard , led by the Pinales’ defense on the hot corner.
“I was a lot more comfortable out there tonight on defense, and as the plays started coming to me. I was able to get more confidence as the night went on,” Pinales said. “I have a lot more confidence going into districts and it makes me more comfortable in my spot.”
San Marcos added another insurance run in the fifth inning when Deleon belted a RBI double to the left-center wall.
“Jess is a great hitter and a great backstop for us,” Stoughton said. “She is a big asset for us. Whenever she is in the box, you know you are going to get something out of her; she has a lot of power to, not only to her strong field but to the opposite field as well.”
In the top of the seventh inning, the Buffaloes were able to sneak back into the ball game to make it a one-run game with three straight hits to start the inning.
Like the entire game, it was the timely defense of Pinales at third base, who was able to get two force outs at home, and then was able to make a diving stop and tagged out the Clemens’ runner at third base to seal the win for the Lady Rattlers.
“I just knew I had to get the outs and field the ball cleanly,” Pinales said of her 7th inning defense. “I was just doing the routine plays. On the final out, I just knew I had to get the out and stop it there to get the win.”
With the win Tuesday night, Stoughton is confident this will give San Marcos momentum going into the rest of district play.
“I think we needed to see that we were capable of playing like this going into the new district,” Stoughton said, referring to the new alignment of District 27. “It is a tough district and sometimes you don’t know how things will turn out until you see the first opponent. For us to be able to pick this up against a good team is something for us to build on.”
The Lady Rattlers will look to continue this momentum this weekend with the Rattler Spring Break Classic in San Marcos beginning Thursday, March 9 at the Rattler Athletic Complex at 9 a.m.
“We have the tournament this weekend where we are just playing a few games this weekend to fine tune, fix some things,” Stoughton said. “But, I was very pleased with how we played tonight.”