ARTICLE BY: TONY VENEGAS | ODESSA AMERICAN
The Odessa College softball team did not get off to the start it wanted to in its season-opening doubleheader against Ranger College, but the day ended with a flourish.
The Lady Wranglers broke the second game of a doubleheader open with a 10-run second inning and bounced back from a tough opener to salvage a split against the Lady Rangers 14-2 in five innings Saturday at Wranglers Field. It was a good rebound after falling 4-1 in Game 1.
"We did not come out and play to our potential in the first game," Odessa College head coach Jeff Jackson said. "Mainly, we didn't hit to where I thought we should be. On a positive note, the bats came out swinging in the second game and that was good to see."
The second game started off just like the first one for Odessa College (1-1 overall), scoring first off a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Ranger College (1-1) answered with a Sidney Garza solo home run in the second, but that and Caitlyn Rangel's RBI single in the fifth were the only runs the Lady Rangers managed.
The Lady Wranglers sent 15 batters to the plate in their big inning, led by Madison Zaccardo. Zaccardo had two doubles in the inning and drove in three runs and finished 3 for 3 in Game 2. She led the offensive resurgence as Odessa College finished with 14 hits in the second game.
Koral Sylestine capped off the Odessa College scoring with a three-run home run in the third.
"We definitely had to pick our energy up after the first game and just have fun," Reinecke said. "When that happened, we started putting a lot of runs on the board and just started finding our groove into the game."
It was a stark contrast from Game 1, when Odessa College managed two hits and couldn't find an answer against the pitching of Darrian Smith.
Smith pitched a complete game and struck out seven in the victory, retiring 12 straight Odessa College batters at one point. She also went for 3 for 3 at the plate.
In the first game, Odessa College opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Reinecke scored on a wild pitch after a leadoff triple. Pando followed that up with a double, but was thrown at third base trying for a triple. Those were the only hits Smith allowed.
Odessa College had two more runners reach base, but was unable to add to the early lead.
"I think their pitcher was very solid and I don't want to take away any credit from her," Jackson said. "Whenever you have a pitcher competing and hitting her well and not doing the same thing offensively, it makes it tough."
After getting runners on in the first two innings, Ranger College broke through with a four-run third inning.
After a pair of singles, the Lady Rangers tied the game at with Garza reaching safely on an Odessa College fielding error. The rally continued with an RBI single from Abby Luna and she and Garza scored on the next batter after another Wranglers error.
Madison Scott took the loss for Odessa College, striking out four over seven innings.