By Moses Leos III
A solid Lehman Lady Lobos defense not only kept the Westlake Chaparrals scoreless for five innings Tuesday, piquing the attention of the district.
But a four-run sixth inning rally gave the Chaparrals all they needed as they escaped with a 4-0 win at Lehman High.
Depsite the loss, Lehman head coach Kita Adams was encouraged by her team’s play as the second round of district begins.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to go scoreless [for five innings] with Westlake,” Adams said. “It sets a tone for the rest of district (play).”
Westlake’s Lindsey McLeod proved the difference as she tossed complete-game one-hit shutout. McLeod conceded only one walk over seven innings and struck out seven Lady Lobos.
According to Adams, chasing pitches outside of the strike zone contributed to woes at the plate. Anxiety and “wanting to make something happen” also played a factor. Adjusting to McLeod’s slower than anticipated speed led to the team’s anxiety.
“We were super anxious about wanting to hit the ball,” Adams said. “We got too anxious and we got out of the zone a little bit.”
As the offense sputtered, Lehman pitcher Karina Reta excelled. Over the first five innings, Reta allowed only three hits and a walk while notching three strikeouts. Reta gave up eight hits and three walks over seven innings.
Behind her was a tenacious Lehman High defense that stepped up in the clutch.
“We had great catches in right field, everyone was diving everywhere, and we were where we were supposed to be,” Adams said.
But Westlake flexed their collective muscle in the sixth inning. Following a leadoff walk, Westlake’s Lacy Boyd ripped an RBI double to give Westlake a 1-0 lead. Ariana Hernandez immediately followed with an RBI base hit to score Boyd, putting the Chaps ahead by two runs.
Westlake completed the inning by scoring two more runs on one hit to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
The Lady Lobos rally attempt fell short as they drew one walk in the final two innings.
Building and improving in the second part of district play is the goal for Adams.
“We’re on that uphill climb and we’re getting into our peak,” Adams said. “Every single game is going to be better and we’re playing harder.”
*In our print edition, we reported Westlake as being unbeaten in district play. Westlake is currently 6-1 in district. We apologize for the error.