HOUSTON – The No. 12 Angelina College Lady Roadrunners needed big bats to quash some early-inning butterflies in Thursday’s first-round Region XIV
Conference Tournament matchup against Lamar State College-Port Arthur.
Once the butterflies disappeared, the bats ruled the day.
Taylor Davis homered twice, with her second bomb tying the program’s individual season record for home runs. Bryli Lee added a three-run shot and the Lady ‘Runners handled the Lady Seahawks 9-1 in six innings Thursday at San Jacinto College in Houston.
AC also got a stellar pitching performance from Taylor Odom, who after allowing a single, unearned run in the first inning, settled in to shut down Lamar-PA the rest of the way.
Lady Roadrunner head coach Mark Mattson said his team’s youth showed early, but it didn’t take long for the AC ladies to regroup.
“With this group, I knew their first time taking the field in the tournament was going to deal with some jitters,” Mattson said. “We are deep with freshmen again who haven’t been here before. As far as they’re concerned, they’re going all the way, but sometimes that idea gets in the way of what we’ve got to do first.
“It was just a matter of trying to keep building them up throughout the game. This team thrives on positive feedback, so we just keep trying to pump them up. It takes one or two good hits, then the fire starts.”
While the offense waited for the big bang to arrive, the defense provide the highlights. Right fielder Miranda Wiggins and left fielder Jynelle Pangelinan each turned in diving catches to staunch Seahawk rallies. Those plays incited a reaction in the AC dugout, but not until Davis blasted a three-run shot in the third inning did the Lady Roadrunners begin picking up steam.
“We had the two layout catches, and those definitely got us going, but this team responds when someone gets a big hit,” Mattson said. “They thrive on the offense, and that’s just the personality of this team.”
Taylor would go deep again later to tie the program record with her 16th of the year. Later, Lee would rock a three-run shot just inside the foul pole in left field for an 8-1 AC lead. Pangelinan finished things off by driving in Shannon Stoker with the final run and ending the contest in six innings.
In the earlier games, Blinn edged Navarro 7-6 and San Jacinto upset the No. 1-ranked Tyler College Lady Apaches 6-2.
The Lady Roadrunners will play Friday at 5:30 p.m. against the winner of the Paris/Galveston game.