CENTER POINT — The latest installment of the Center Point-Harper rivalry included a pitching duel, late inning theatrics and an overall competitive game Tuesday night. The Ladyhorns kept their perfect district record in tact with an 8-4 win over the Lady Pirates in a battle of two of the top teams in District 29-2A.
“This has always been such a great rivalry. Both teams are usually very competitive and the games usually turn out to be very close,” said Harper head coach Scott Vazquez. “Coach Moorish has done a fantastic job with his team this year. This certainly was not an easy win by any means.”
Harper moves to 6-0 in district play and 13-3-1 on the season. The Lady Pirates now stand at 4-2 in loop play. Mercy Garcia had three hits and Gracie Green had a two-run home run to pace the Ladyhorns offense. Logan Menzies and Haley Jodoin each drove in a run. For Center Point, Shelby Densmore was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI, while Monica Villalobos was 2-for-3 with a run driven in. Bobbi Leitha joined the two as the only other Lady Pirate to have a multi-hit game (2-for-4).
Tied 3-3 heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Ladyhorns’ bats came alive as they scored five runs in the frame, all with two outs in the inning. Menzies reached on a hard hit ball to the Center Point shortstop to drive in runners from second and third base, making it 5-3 Harper. Jodoin came up next and rocketed a triple that bounced off the tip of the outfielders’ glove that drove in a run. But the big blow of the inning came from Green as her no-doubter home run over the left-centerfield wall drove in two more runs and left the score at 8-3 Harper.
Center Point scored a run with their final three outs on an RBI-double from Densmore, but that would be all the Lady Pirates could come up with.
“Our goal was to always win a district title,” Vazquez said. “We’re taking it in a one-game-at-a-time attitude. Center Point is a very good team and they shut us down for much of the game. But we stuck with it and came alive in the late going.”
The Ladyhorns got things going with three runs in the top of the first inning. An RBI-single to centerfield by Menzies made it 1-0 Harper. With runners on the corners and one out, Harper drove in two more on a Center Point error that pushed their lead to 3-0.
Center Point would answer though with a run in the fourth inning on an RBI-single to centerfield by Densmore that cut Harper’s lead to just two runs. In their next at-bat, the Lady Pirates tied up the ballgame with two runs in the inning. A throwing error by Harper’s shortstop with two outs allowed Center Point runners at second and third to score to make it a 3-3 game after five innings.
Both starting pitchers brought their A-game for much of the contest. Callie Koenig allowed one earned run on eight hits while striking out five Lady Pirates in 7.0 innings. For Center Point, Leitha was credited for just two earned runs on eight hits while having a 6-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Both teams continue loop play in their next games. Harper travels to Brackett looking to maintain perfection in district play. The Lady Pirates also hit the road to face Medina. Both games are set for Friday night.