By DR. DAVID DAVIS
The Dawson Lady Eagles lost their first two District 23-6A games in the opening round to George Ranch (1-0) and Brazoswood (1-0). They could not afford to lose three in a row.
Facing cross-town cousin, Dawson head coach Katelyn Welch knew her team needed a big win over the Pearland Lady Oilers who are struggling this year.
Sophomore pitcher Courtney Day took the pitching circle against the Lady Oilers and allowed only three hits, one run, three strikeouts, and no walks as the Lady Eagles took the first round contest 7-1 in dominating fashion.
Of course it certainly helped the Dawson cause as Pearland committed five errors.
“We aren’t playing good defense, and we aren’t bunting and running and making things happen,” Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark said. “We have to get grittier, and the girls have to decide what they want to do — this is their season.”
The Lady Oilers took an early 1-0 lead when Kaylee Buck singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a two-out throwing error.
Dawson tied up the game in the third when Kyra Lundford and Brooke Toler hit back-to-back singles before Lunford crossed the plate on a two-out error hit by Kirsten Williams to tie up the game 1-1.
The third inning turned out to be the back breaker for the Oilers as Dawson sent five players across the pay station to grab a 6-1 advantage.
Dawson loaded the bases on a single by Amber Langston, an error that put Day on first, and a bunt single by Izzy Richey.
Lunford walked to bring home Langston for a 2-1 lead and leaving the bases full.
Pearland pitcher Adrianna Chavarria struck out Rellie Chacon, but sent a pitch past the catcher allowing Dawson to score another run for a 3-1 lead.
Toler then stepped up and smashed a single off the centerfield wall bring home two more runs for a 5-1 lead.
The Lady Oilers had two more miscues that sent Toler across the plate making the score 6-1.
The Lady Eagles scored the final run of the game in the sixth when Richey laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Langston who had reached base on a double making the final score 7-1.
Dawson is 1-2 in district action but should be able to win out the first round to finish with a 4-2 mark.
The loss was the first for Pearland in league play and they still have to face Brazoswood and George Ranch.
“Our challenge now is to stay focused, keep practices intense, and mentally challenge ourselves,” Welch said. “The next round, George Ranch and Brazoswood need to be wins for us.
“If we put the ball in play, both of those games will be completely different outcomes.”
Pearland may be 2-1 in district, but their toughest games are in front of them.
“We have to get better in our heads,” Clark said. “And we have to work harder in practice. The girls have to be willing to do those things if we want this to be a successful season.”
Chavarria suffered the pitching loss after she gave up six runs on six hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Top hitters for Dawson included Langston who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Richey was 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI. Lunford was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Toler who was 1-for-2 with one run scored and two RBIs.