Lady Eagles nip Lady Oilers 2-1

PEARLAND — The Pearland Lady Oilers are undefeated against all other District 23-6A teams, but they can't seem to get past their cross-town cousins, the Dawson Lady Eagles.

For the second time this season, Dawson found a way to defeat Pearland 2-1 as the regular season comes to a close.

The Lady Eagles beat the Lady Oilers 7-1 in the first round of league action in an error-filled game by Pearland.

The second time around the game was a little cleaner, but some miscues by Pearland still led to the Lady Eagles being able to push across the needed runs to pull out the 2-1 win.

The good news is that both teams have punched their ticket to the playoffs as Dawson is 6-4 in district while Pearland is 9-2 with only one game remaining against league-leader Brazoswood (9-1).

The Lady Oilers played the Lady Bucs on Tuesday (late). A win would give Pearland a share of the 23-6A title and a loss will secure second-place while Dawson will finish in fourth place behind George Ranch who will finish third.

Dawson got their two runs in the top of the third when Dawson's Alexis Zarate belted a one-out single to left before Amber Langston worked Pearland starter Adrianna Chavarria for a walk. Dawson sophomore pitcher Courtney Day followed with a single to center to load the bases.

After a 5-2 force out at home, Dawson's Kyra Lunford dealt the game-winning blow with a sharp single to center for a 2-0 lead.

Pearland trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the fifth after Torrie Montemayor worked Day for a leadoff walk and was bunted to second.

Avery Ratcliff then beat out an infield grounder to third. The ball bounced into foul territory allowing Montemayor to score cutting the lead to 2-1.

Natalie Myers laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Day got Rylie Love to ground out.

Pearland made one final comeback effort in the seventh when Lauren Ochoa punched a two-out single to right. Love got on base via an error at third base putting runners on first and third.

Love then stole second giving Pearland a chance to get a game-winning hit that would plate the winning runs, but Day got two quick strikes on Kaylee Buck who ended up grounding out at third to end the game.

"At least we had an opportunity to win, and that's all you can ask for in a close game," Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark said.

"Courtney does a great job of keeping the batters off balance and hitting her spots. She's one of the best pitchers in the area in my opinion.

"We'll just keep trying to get better. These are the kinds of games you want going into the playoffs. They're competitive, and I wouldn't want it any other way."

Day allowed five hits and struck out six and one free pass while Chavarria fanned seven and permitted seven hits while walking seven.

"Not a lot to say…just a well-played game on both sides," Dawson head coach Katelyn Welch said. "We just played it a little better.

"Courtney did a great job on the mound as she always does. The last four times we've played Pearland, it doesn't really matter where either one of us stands at that particular moment.

"The rivalry is strong, and both teams come to play."

Dawson should finish the season with two more wins over the Alief schools and then be ready for the post-season.