No. 7 Friendswood avoids upset bid by Dayton


FRIENDSWOOD — When the playoffs begin, most coaches want a best-of-three series because there is always the chance that a lower seed team could upset another team with a higher seed.

But seeding doesn't matter because the game is won on the field, not paper or predictions.

The No. 7 state-ranked Friendswood Lady Mustangs entered the post-season having won nine straight games and 19-of-20.

Things looked bleak for the Lady Stangs in the early innings as they fell behind 5-3 after five innings.

But things took a turn for the better in the bottom of the sixth when Friendswood bats came alive to plate five runs for an 8-5 lead.

Friendswood got two runners on base after Lauren Adams singled and Reagan Jones walked. That set up an RBI single by Amani Adi to cut the lead to 5-4. Tricia Yarotsky kept the rally going with a run-scoring error, and then KK Esparza stepped up with a game-winning three-run home run over the left centerfield fence.

Friendswood added an insurance run in the top of the seventh after Elizabeth Higgins led off with a single, Bayleigh Lay singled, and then, following a sacrifice bunt, Jones drove in courtesy runner Carol Langston to make the score 9-5 to move on in the post-season.

“Hats off to Dayton,” Friendswood head coach Christa Yates said. “Boy, they hit the ball well, and they were aggressive.

“Seeds don’t matter. That’s what you try to tell your kids all the time. You still have to play the game.”

The Lady Mustangs mashed out 14 base hits, led by multi-hit games from Higgins (3-for-4), Adi (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI), Esparza (2-for-4, five RBIs, one run), Yarotsky (2-for-4, one run) and Lay (2-for-4, one RBI).

Lady Mustang freshman pitcher Chloe Riassetto picked up the complete game win.