Lady Eagles nip Lady Oilers 1-0 in district showdown

PEARLAND — Dawson won their third straight district game over cross-town cousin Pearland 1-0. The Lady Eagles swept the Lady Oilers last year with two victories, but were unable to take advantage as Pearland captured the 23-6A title.

This time, all the scoring was done by Dawson in the top of the first inning for the 1-0 win, but the game wasn't without its controversies.

Dawson junior pitcher Courtney Day helped her own cause in the first frame when she reached base on an error. That set up Izzie Richey, the next batter, who smashed a pitch off Pearland pitcher Adrianna Chavarria that bounced off the centerfield wall. Richey managed to get caught in a rundown between first and second base long enough for Day's pinch runner to score before Richey was eventually tagged for the third out.

Pearland thought it had answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning.

Janna Roberts stroked a one-out double and Gabby Davilia worked Day for a walk. Pearland catcher Lauren Ochoa then hit a ball to Lady Eagle shortstop Olivia Johnson, whose throw went into the Pearland dugout.

Roberts raced home on the errant throw, but it was ruled that Roberts had to return to third base. Day then fanned Ryleigh Love and Ashlin Moreno to keep her shutout intact.

In the fourth inning, Ryleigh Love led off with a single and stole second before Ashlin Moreno singled up the middle. Love tried to score, but was called out at the plate.

Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark wasn't happy with either call, both which went against the Lady Oilers.

"I'm not going to lie – I thought that Rylie was safe at the plate, and I thought that the ball was already in the dugout, and Janna should have scored (in the first inning)," Clark said. "That would have been two runs.

"But Courtney threw a good ballgame, and defensively, Dawson played pretty well. They made things happen when they needed to.

"Adrianna threw well, and we made some errors, but after those errors we didn't fall apart. We made plays, and the kids did a good job of picking their heads up."

Pearland loaded the bases in two separate innings and had runners on base in two other innings, but was unable to push across a run.

"Courtney did an outstanding job and worked out of a lot of jams," Dawson head coach Katelyn Welch said. "I was impressed with the composure of our kids.

"We dropped some ground balls where we normally would have come out of our shoes and not completed the play, but they made those plays tonight."

Pearland loaded the bases in the sixth inning but Day got two hit balls back to her, resulting in a force at home and a putout at first.

Day then retired Pearland in order in the seventh to close out the game.

"This puts us in a good position to possibly go 5-1 heading into the second round," Welch said. "There's no reason we can't win district with one loss. We have all the tools, we just have to get them working at the same time."

Chavarria allowed seven hits, struck out eight, and walked two for Pearland, which falls to 14-9 overall and 3-1 in district. Dawson improves to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in district.