PORTLAND. State-ranked Gregory-Portland wasn’t about to drop its second straight home game.
The Lady Cats belted six run-scoring hits to make sure that it didn’t happen again on Tuesday. G-P used a five-run fourth inning to put away District 30-5A rival Calallen 8-3 at Gregory-Portland’s softball field.
G-P (11-3 overall, 4-1 in district play) remained one game behind 30-5A leader Flour Bluff, which beat the Lady Cats here last Thursday 10-8 in 10 innings.
“We definitely used that (loss) as motivation to win our last two games,” said Lady Cats senior center fielder Kiani Ramsey, who has signed to play for Texas Tech next season. “We’ll be ready for (the Hornets) when we play them again, but we’re just taking it one game at a time right now. We’re not looking past anybody in our district.”
Despite the loss, Calallen (7-10 overall) is still in position to make the playoffs after dropping to 4-2 in 30-5A play.
“It’s always tough playing here at G-P,” Wildcats coach Teresa Flores said. “There’s usually one inning that ends up biting us and then we have to try to rally back somehow. But you just can’t do that against G-P.”
Eight of the nine batters in G-P’s starting lineup had at least one hit against Calallen. Cassie Roche ? a Calallen transfer ? led the Lady Cats by going 3 for 4 with two runs. Kylea Nix and Skylar Ouellette had two hits each for G-P, which pounded 12 hits in the game.
“We do a lot of hitting and take a lot of reps in practice because our bats are carrying us right now,” said Lady Cats coach Felicia Talamantez, whose team has already scored 20 runs or more three times in district play this season.
The G-P player that didn’t get a hit in the game certainly made up for it in another way, as senior Joh Sanchez pitched a complete game to get the win. Sanchez yielded three earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
“Joh has come a long way,” Talamantez said. “She is a hard worker and she has done some tremendous things for us.”
Arabella Acosta-Cantu’s two run, two-out single to shallow center field gave G-P a 2-0 third-inning lead.
Calallen cut that deficit to 2-1 in the fourth inning on Faith Del Los Santos’ run-scoring single to left field, which glanced off the G-P shortstop’s outstretched glove.
The Lady Cats used four run-scoring hits during their five run, fourth inning to extend their lead to 7-1.
Angelica Davidson’s two-run double off the right field wall highlighted that big frame for G-P, while Cassie Nix, Kylea Nix and Ouellette also each had an RBI single for the Lady Cats during the inning.
Jones later had a sacrifice fly and Savana Saenz added an RBI double to bring Calallen to within 7-3, but that’s as close as it would come in the final three innings.
Ouellette added an RBI single in the sixth inning to account for G-P’s other run in the game.
Calallen junior pitcher Kendall Jones ? who has been pitching despite battling a back injury the past two weeks ? took the loss after giving up five earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings. She walked four and struck out three.
Jones was replaced with one out in the fourth inning by Wildcats freshman pitcher Ashley Richardson before returning to the mound ? she was reinserted back into the lineup ? to start the bottom of the fifth inning.
Flores said Jones’ pitching effort was admirable considering the injury took away from some of the movement of her pitches Tuesday.
“I’m proud of her that she came back into the game,” Flores said of Jones. “She was trying to do it for the team. Next time, I’m hoping we don’t have to pull her (at all during the game).”
GREGORY-PORTLAND 8, CALALLEN 3
Calallen 000 111 0 ? 3 7 1
G-P 002 501 x ? 8 12 0
W ? Joh Sanchez. L ? Kendall Jones (4-4). 2B ? Calallen: Kricket Moralez, Savana Saenz. G-P: Cassie Roche, Angelica Davidson. Highlights ? Calallen, Jones 5.1 IP, 3 K’s and RBI; Faith Del Los Santos 2-3, RBI; G-P, Sanchez 7 IP, 3 Ks; Roche 3-4; Skylar Ouellette 2-3, 2 RBI; Kylea Nix 2-3, RBI; Davidson 1-3, 2 RBIs; Arabella Acosta-Cantu 1-3, 2 RBIs; Cassie Nix 1-3, RBI.