Lady Oilers eliminated by Clear Creek in upset

PEARLAND — Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark will always look at the loss to Clear Creek as the one that got away as the No. 4 seed upset the No. 1 seed in the Class 6A Region III playoffs.

The Lady Oilers were the defending Region III champions and were in the 6A state finals a year ago, but their season came an unexpected end to the Lady Wildcats.

It turned out to be a best-of-three series for the team that wanted it the most and Clear Creek proved that they were going to give it their all.

"We just didn't play defense," Clark said. "Whether it be mental or physical, we had seven errors that should have been seven outs.

"Obviously, you can't win ballgames at this level when you're not making plays."

The Lady Oilers set, what they thought, would be the way the series should go in the first game as Pearland dominated Game One for a 9-1 victory.

The game was close for most of the contest until Pearland scored six runs in the top of the seventh to blow the game open.

The Lady Oilers set the stage to close out the series at home in Game Two but Clear Creek wasn't going down without a battle.

The game was scoreless for the first four innings until both teams scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning making the score 2-2.

With their back to the wall, Clear Creek scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead.

Pearland was unable to answer in their half of the sixth and then scored only one run in the final at bats allowing the Lady Wildcats to even the series with the 5-3 win.

In Game Three, with the winner moving on in the playoffs, it appeared that the Lady Oilers had found their momentum to close out the series.

Pearland scored one run in the first inning on two Creek errors and a bunt single by Ashlynn Walls that was muffed by the Lady Wildcats.

Creek got a double play to keep Pearland from scoring any more runs.

The Lady Oilers added three more runs in the third when Kaylee Buck walked and Walls ripped a run-scoring triple to left centerfield. Kaylee Hoppens stepped up to smash a run scoring double to left for a 3-0 lead.

After a walk to Victoria Montemayor and a fielder's choice by Ashlin Moreno, a wild pitch brought home another run for a 4-0 advantage.

And then a shift in the momentum went to Clear Creek as the Lady Oilers fell apart in the bottom of the fifth as the Lady Wildcats scored six runs and the Lady O's weren't able to recover in the 6-4 loss.

For the first time in 15 years, Pearland (22-13) failed to advance to the area round of the post-season.

"Anytime you get several runs and don't build on it, and just let a team hang in there, they feel they have a chance," Clark said. "That's what happened. We didn't do what we were supposed to do."