Lady O's edge Lady Eagles 4-1 in district showdown

PEARLAND — The first-round softball showdown between the Pearland Lady Oilers and the Dawson Lady Eagles was close as expected. But the veteran Lady O's were able to take advantage of a late inning miscue to get a tough-fought 4-1 win over the youthful Lady Eagles.

Pearland has 14 seniors compared to only four for Dawson. Plus Dawson has a new coach in Katelyn Griffin who is doing a tremendous job with the young girls.

Griffin came to Dawson when former coach David McCorkle left to take over the head coaching job at Alvin.

But Griffin brings a strong presence after coaching stints as the head coach at Brazosport and as an assistant at Pearland and Georgetown.

One Dawson parent said, "Katelyn brings a calm and peace to this team that seems to have been missing in recent years. Plus she deals with each player in a quiet manner."

Pearland found themselves being challenged, but they were able to pull out the 4-1 victory thanks to two runs in the top of the seventh to seal the deal.

The visiting Lady Oilers scored first in the top of the first as Kaylee Buck opened the game with a walk.

Buck stole second followed by two outs setting up a smash line drive error by Sydney Gutierrez that allowed Buck to score giving Pearland a 1-0 lead.

Dawson answered in the bottom of the second when Baylee Malone blasted a solo home run over the left field wall of Pearland pitcher Alyssa Denham to knot up the game at 1-1.

Pearland got another run in the top of the fifth when Buck scored again after reaching base with a double to centerfield.

Ashlyn Walls stroked a one-out single to centerfield moving Buck to third, but the Dawson centerfielder muffed the ball allowing Buck to score and Walls to move to second for a 2-1 Pearland lead.

Denham was in full control for the game as she allowed only four hits while striking out 13 in six innings to get the win.

The Lady Oilers added two more runs in the top of the seventh when Walls and Natalie Romeo hit one-out back-to-back singles.

After Gutierrez popped out, Lauren Ochoa hit a single that sent Walls and Romeo home with two insurance runs and a 4-1 lead.

Pearland head coach Laneigh Clark inserted freshman pitcher Adrianna Chavarria to close out the game and the youngster whiffed two batters and got a line drive out to retire the Lady Eagles and preserve the 4-1 win.

The Lady O's got 12 hits off Dawson freshman Courtney Day as Walls led the way going 3-for-4 with one run scored. Ochoa was 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Lindsey Stewart was 2-for-3 and Denham was 2-for-4.

Malone led the Lady Eagles going 2-for-3 with a home run. Dawson managed only two other hits for the contest.

Pearland improves to 11-4-1 overall and 4-0 in District 22-6A.

Dawson falls to 8-7 overall and 2-2 in 22-6A.

The Lady Oilers will travel to face Sam Rayburn on Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. and will host Pasadena Memorial on Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m.

Dawson will host Dobie on Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. and will travel to face Pasadena on Saturday, March 12 at 11:30 a.m.