Lady Mustangs get key win over Santa Fe 8-3

FRIENDSWOOD — In recent years, the Santa Fe Lady Indians have dominated district play, but Friendswood made a statement with an 8-3 league win to improve to 4-0 in district competition. Both teams entered with 3-0 marks, but Friendswood now has a one-game lead in the standings in the first round.

The Lady Mustangs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second when Bayleigh Lay smacked a one-out double. Friendswood loaded the bases after the next two batter got hit by a pitch.

After the Lady Indians got a force out at the plate, a wild pitch allowed a run for a 1-0 lead. Courtesy runner Hannah Canfield and designated player Lauren Adams both cross the plate on an error to bump the score to 3-0.

The Lady Mustangs continued their scoring in the third frame when Reagan Jones led off the inning on an error and K.K. Esparza followed with a single to left. A force out at third left runners at first and second and then Lay walked to load the bases.

Elizabeth Higgins blasted a hit off the Santa Fe pitcher's arm sending Esparza and courtesy runner Cierra Langston across the plate. Adams followed with a bunt single to score Lay giving the Lady 'Stangs a 6-0 advantage.

Santa Fe scored a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 6-1.

But Friendswood added two more runs in the top of the seventh when Higgins walked and Adams singled to centerfield. After a pass ball sent the runners to second and third, Haven Franks launched a sacrifice fly to center for one run and Tricia Yarotsky beat out an infield single to drive in another run to make the score 8-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a runner on first, Santa Fe's Ryleigh Mata blasted a two-run homer to cut the lead to 8-3, but Friendswood got the final out to preserve the district win.

“I just felt good, one through seven innings tonight,” Friendswood head coach Christa Williams said. “I felt like we came ready to play from the get-go, and we never let up. That is what I was most proud of from them.”

The Lady Mustangs banged out 10 hits in the game, led by multi-hit performances from Adams (2-for-3, one RBI, one run), Lay (2-for-3, one run) and Esparza (2-for-4, one run). Chloe Riassetto gutted out a tough complete-game victory in the circle. Riassetto gave up three hits, three earned runs and five walks with seven strikeouts in the win.