EARLY— The Early High School Lady Longhorns occupy the top spot in the district standings after handing the previously unbeaten Comanche Maidens a 5-2 loss Tuesday.
With the tying run at the plate, the Maidens looked to take Tuesday’s game into extra innings, but second baseman Vance-Cady Gordon plucked a potentially costly line-drive from the air to hold onto a 5-2 win.
“We are undefeated and it feels really good,” said Early pitcher MaKayla DeLeon, who tallied 12 strikeouts in her complete-game performance. “We were both undefeated heading into this game and now we’re ahead. It boosts our confidence. We just have to keep working harder.”
An RBI single by third baseman Sydnee Shea put the Lady Longhorns on the board early, then short stop Laiken Reagan drove in another two runs in the second inning before leaving the game with an apparent knee injury while rounding second base. Without arguably Early’s best hitter in the lineup, DeLeon said she knew she had to step up offensively.
“[Reagan] is definitely one of our big hitters and on the field she does great things,” DeLeon said. “I knew I had to trust whoever was going to replace her. We all had to trust each other. I knew I had to step up and do what I had to do for her.”
Shea took the Lady Longhorns’ lead to 4-0 on a line-drive double, then DeLeon picked up an RBI double of her own to take it to 5-0. The Maidens rallied late, but it was not enough to catch Early.
“Taking the lead is very important when you face teams like [Comanche],” Early coach Alfonso Chavez said. “MaKayla is starting to come back to full speed. She did really well and moved the ball well. The fielding came through. Our shortstop got hurt, but a couple of our young kids came through.”
The Lady Longhorns will look to put a bit of distance between them and Comanche when they host Bangs Saturday. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.