The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate softball team had deep postseason admirations but came up short in a one game series with the Zapata Lady Hawks, losing 1-0 Friday, April 26 in San Diego.
After seven straight wins to cap off the district season with momentum moving into the playoffs, it came to a disappointing end for the Lady Pirates.
“We knew they were going to have a strong pitcher,” said Reyes. “Our game plan just didn’t go as we hoped and it didn’t work out our way.”
RFHS ends its season with a 10-4 district record and 20-7 overall record.
The Lady Pirates went into the postseason as the third seed in District 31-4A to face off against the second seed in District 32-4A Zapata.
RFHS Head Softball Coach Melissa Reyes said the series length was decided on a coin flip. Zapata wanted a one game series and won the flip. Reyes wanted a best-of-three series.
“It was unfortunate we lost the flip,” said Reyes.
“I think we got in our own heads, more than anything,” said Mikey Dominguez. “I believe if we played that team again then we’d definitely beat them by more than one, and not in eight innings (either).”
Siarah Galvan pitched all eight innings for RFHS. She struck out nine batters and allowed one run.
It was a pitchers duel throughout between Galvan and the pitcher for Zapata.
“We knew she (Zapata pitcher) had speed, but I didn’t realize she had spin. She did have a rise ball and a curve ball, which got me a lot,” said Maddie Mann. “I think she was a better pitcher than what we thought.”
In the first inning, both pitchers allowed little action at the plate.
Dominguez connected for a single but Zapata ended the inning.
In the second, both pitchers stumped the opposing teams at-bats.
In the third, Zapata put a runner on third with two outs caught by Jade Gonzalez and Jayden Longino. Galvan then collected the third out on a strikeout.
Dominguez came away with a big hit deep to centerfield. However, in an attempt to take third for a triple, Dominguez was thrown out.
In the fourth, Galvan struck out two more Zapata batters and threw out another.
Zapata then held RFHS without a hit.
In the fifth, Galvan struck out one and threw out another at first. J. Gonzalez caught a line drive in right field to make it three.
Taylor Gonzalez connected on a deep shot to centerfield for a single. However, it was RFHS’ lone hit of the inning as Zapata quickly ended the threat.
In the sixth, J. Gonzalez came away with her third out of the night in right field for the first out. With two runners on, Dominguez squashed a bunt attempt with a throw down at first for the second out. Then, with runners on second and third, Payton Martinez caught a hit deep to right centerfield for a huge third out.
A couple hits by Dominguez and Kelsey Polasek put RFHS in good position. However, Zapata ended the inning again with good pitching and fielding in the outfield.
“We just couldn’t get the hits together in the situations that we needed those hits to come through,” said Reyes.
In the seventh, Polasek fielded the first out with a throw back to first. Galvan struck out the next two.
Zapata shut down RFHS batters again and put the game in extra innings.
In the eighth, Krystal Kutach got the first out with a catch in foul territory. Zapata then reeled off a couple hits to put runners in scoring position on second and third. In the next at-bat, a shallow hit to centerfield scored the first run of the game for Zapata to make it 1-0. After the run brought in, Mann collected the third out on a diving catch hit shallow to shortstop.
At bat, Zapata quickly got two outs with no runners on for RFHS. Zapata then made the third out and abruptly ended the Lady Pirates postseason 1-0.
Dominguez led RFHS offensively going 3-4.
Both T. Gonzalez and Kutach went 1-3.
The Lady Pirates will lose one senior at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Three-year varsity first baseman Longino will be graduating in May.
“She’s been real consistent for us. She’s done a great job for us at first base,” said Reyes.
Longino also contributed to the girls varsity basketball team, is involved with the Aransas County 4-H program, and is an Academic All-District student athlete.
“She understood her role and did a lot for us and produced for us. I think that helped lead us to the success we had this year,” said Reyes.
With only one senior leaving the team, the 2020 Lady Pirates will return many young, seasoned players. Over the last two seasons, RFHS has received a lot of contributions from its freshman classes.
“We’re all on board as far as refocusing and getting ready for next year. Our approach on it is going to be ‘back with a vengeance,’” said Reyes. “I’m very confident these girls are going to be playing a lot in the summer and into the fall. I feel like our program is in a really good place and we’re getting stronger. I feel like we’re just getting started, really.”
Two of the teams’ biggest hitters this season, Mann and Dominguez, are looking forward to creating an even tighter bond amongst their teammates.
“I think we’re going to be even more of a family next season,” said Mann. “I really want to work on that and (look forward to) working towards that.”
“I expect us all to grow since we know each other (so well), it’s a sisterhood (we have here),” said Dominguez. “I expect us to come back even stronger and beat Sinton, Beeville, and the (other) state ranked teams. Our goal is to be on top.”