Owls win 60-run slugfest with 18 in last two innings
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Highlands, Lanier.
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By most standards, it was a high-scoring game the first time Highlands and Lanier met this season on Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1.
Lanier (7-8, 6-6) prevailed 12-8 March 11at the SAISD complex. The rematch produced an outcome better suited to the nearby football fields. Highlands (8-10-1, 4-7) exacted its revenge
with a mind-boggling 34-26 decision April 7. The 60 runs scored actually exceeded the 52 points their football counterparts combined for when the Voks won 28-24 Oct. 10.
“I was hoping we’d play a little better defense,” ninth-year Highlands coach Tracy Guadarrama said. “It’s like a slow-pitch score, really. It’s probably close (to a school record). It’s the highest we’ve scored since I’ve been here.”
The Owls’ win tightened up the District 28-5A standings. Lanier fell to fifth place, a half-game behind Edison in the race for the final playoff spot in 28-5A. Highlands moved up from seventh to sixth.
Highlands outscored Lanier 18-6 in the last two innings to register the comeback victory.
“It kept us alive (for the playoffs),” Guadarrama said. “It may not happen, but it did put a winch into things a little bit.”
The Owls sent 16 batters to the plate in the sixth inning. Jaylene Meece (4-for-6, 3 RBI) produced two of the team’s three hits in the sixth. Highlands took a 26-23 lead into the seventh.
A three-run home run from Owls center fielder Jessica Garza (3-for-6, 8 RBI) helped put the game out of reach.
Highlands manufactured a 7-0 lead before Lanier batted in the bottom of the second. The Voks responded with 10 runs. The rally featured a two-run double from Jaycee Estrada
and an RBI double from Ashley Lopez (4-for-6, 3 RBI). The Voks had a 16-9 lead after three innings. One of two doubles from Brandi Mojica (4-for-6, 4 RBI) keyed the rally.
The Owls produced a six-run rally in the sixth, but still trailed by one. Lanier padded its lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Other key contributors in Highlands’ 16-hit attack were Angela Garcia (1-for-2, home run, 4 RBIs) and Janelle Rodriguez (3-for-5, 3 RBI). Each scored six runs. Deja DeLuna was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
“Our defense has been sketchy all season,” Guadarrama said. “That’s been our downfall. Our offense has really been our strong point. Our defense has been too inconsistent to play to our potential.”
For Lanier, Amanda Davila (2 RBI) and Esmi Garcia (RBI) added three hits apiece to the team total (19). Ashley Flores and Jolene Garcia had two RBIs each.
It was the only game the Owls played in the week. An April 10 game against Sam Houston was postponed twice before being rescheduled for April 13.