The innings wore on, swings kept missing, and too many of the Lady Wranglers stepped from the dugout to the batter's box and back again empty-handed, but Mikayla Krause knew it wouldn't last.
She knew those bats would come alive sooner than later.
"We like to come back," the left fielder smiled.
Sure enough, as she spoke, Krause was standing outside that Lady Wranglers dugout in the moments after an 11-9 come-from-behind victory for the Odessa College softball team, which capped a doubleheader sweep against Lamar Community College Thursday at Wranglers Field.
Odessa College dropped the visitors 11-4 in the first game, giving first-year head coach Jeff Jackson a pair of victories to open the home schedule.
The Lady Wranglers trailed 7-4 before a six-run bottom of the fourth vaulted them out front, and starter Elva Castillo fended off Lamar from there.
"I was confident that our girls were going to start hitting," Krause said of that rally in the fourth. "I knew that somehow, someway, somebody was going to spark it off, and it was just going to carry on through the rest of the girls, and everybody was going to want to get a big hit out there to help us score those runs."
It was that kind of contagious hitting that pushed Odessa College during that rally, as the Lady Wranglers batted around the lineup, and chipped into the lead and pushed past it one run at a time, on six one-run plays.
After three Lady Wranglers loaded the bases to start the inning, Krause drew a walk to push across the first run of the rally, then Cami Deanda hit an RBI single, before Julyssa Hernandez drew another bases-loaded walk for another run. Castillo's RBI groundout sent Krause across home plate, then a sacrifice fly and then an RBI double by Crystal Carrillo put Odessa College up 10-7.
With run support behind her, Castillo, a former Odessa High standout, shut down Lamar and faced just three batters in each of the next two innings, before staving off a Lamar rally in the top of the seventh to seal it.
Odessa College trailed 5-0 before it scored four runs in the bottom of the second, but couldn't muster any more while Lamar built continued to build its lead — until the bottom of the fourth.
"I didn't even have a doubt that we were going to score," Castillo said. "We have a good offense."
Thursday's wins moved Odessa College to 4-1 on the young season. Jackson saw his team open the season 2-1 in three games at a tournament in Galveston last weekend.
"I would say, the biggest thing about this team, is I can never count them out," Jackson said after Thursday's second win. "It's something I learned really quickly with them, including down in Galveston.
"They kept their heads up even when things didn't look too great for us," he added. "They found ways to get it done."
Odessa College will play four games over Friday and Saturday in Midland. The Lady Wranglers play Trinidad State Junior College and Snow College on Friday.
The Lady Wranglers will be back at home to host Otero Junior College for a doubleheader on Sunday.
Article and photo by Justin Lee OA