Coker's Big Hit, Phillips Pitching Key Conference Wins
AC News Service
Angelina College Lady Roadrunner hitter Hannah Coker was beginning to see a pattern in the way Coastal Bend was pitching her.
With two outs and the tying and winning runs at second and third, Coker worked the count to 3-2 by fouling off several pitches. Those coming inside she ripped foul down the left-field line; the outside pitches she barely contacted enough to stay alive. It seemed her opponent, the Lady Cougar pitcher, was trying to keep Coker off-balance by pitching in and out.
Once Coker figured it out, she made it pay in a big way.
Coker's double off the wall in centerfield gave the Lady ‘Runners a thrilling 5-4 win over the Lady Cougars in the opening game of Friday's doubleheader.
Coastal Bend center fielder Naomi Trevino nearly made a spectacular catch that would have ended the game with a Lady Cougar win; but the ball just glanced off her glove and bounced to the wall, allowing Courtney Robbins and Emily Ramsey to cross the plate for the walk-off win.
Combined with a 3-1 win in the nightcap, the Lady Roadrunners finished with the sweep to push their conference record to 9-9 with six games remaining in the regular season.
AC pitcher Shelby Phillips earned wins in both games by tossing three innings of scoreless relief in the first game, following that with six innings of scoreless ball in the second. In the day's finale, Laura Martinez and Ramsey led off the third inning with consecutive singles and Jordan Garza walked to load the bases. Coker got hit by a pitch to drive in a run, and Molly Mackey's sacrifice fly scored Ramsey from third for a 2-0 lead.
Mackey then blasted a solo homer straight into a flag-stiffening headwind in the sixth inning to give the Lady ‘Runners insurance they really didn't need.
Coastal Bend's lone run came in the seventh after Phillips had departed. Sabrina Gonzalez led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on pinch hitter Jacqueline Guthrie's single to left.
That win, while exciting, didn't compare to AC's rally in the first game. Coastal Bend took a 4-2 lead with a four-run fourth inning, and the Lady Roadrunners cut that to 4-3 on Ramsey's RBI single in the fifth. With Phillips and her defense – shortstop Courtney Robbins and Shelby Wallace turned in web gems – keeping the Lady Cougars off the board, AC completed the rally in the last half of the seventh. Robbins walked to lead off the inning, Ramsey reached on an infield error and, with two down, Coker completed her tough at-bat with the run-scoring double.
The Lady Roadrunners (20-12, 9-9) will host Galveston on Saturday in a doubleheader scheduled to start at 1 p.m.