The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate softball team (#1) played a full three-game series against the Boerne Lady Greyhounds Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15. In game three, RFHS got into a slugfest with Boerne and was unable to catch up in an 11-6 loss.
RFHS lost game one 9-0, won game two 12-1, and lost game three 11-6.
Boerne will advance to the regional semifinals in a matchup with Tuloso-Midway.
RFHS finishes a historic 2021 season with an overall record of 27-3 and a district record of 12-0.
The Lady Pirates made their first trip back to the regional quarterfinals since 2016. RFHS’ 2016 team advanced to the regional semifinals that year.
After being shutout in game one against Boerne, RFHS rallied back with a dominant second game and competitive third game. Overall, RFHS Head Softball Coach Melissa Reyes said Boerne came to play, and RFHS wasn’t going to give up without a fight.
“Of course we’re hoping for the outcome to work our way and unfortunately it didn’t,” said Reyes. “But, I’m super proud of the girls and the way they played through the circumstances. It’s just a testament to how hard they work and the way they practice.”
In game one, Boerne pitcher Ava Rodriguez posted a rare shutout against Lady Pirate batters.
RFHS mustered only four hits without a run scored in a series opening 9-0 loss Friday, May 14.
Reyes said she thought some nerves got the best of RFHS in the opener.
“We just played a little more tense, less relaxed than we normally are,” said Reyes.
Game two began the following day at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 15. Reyes said the team turned the page and refocused.
“They really refocused and were determined to make this a good series,” said Reyes.
In wet and windy conditions, RFHS battled back from the outset.
Mikey Dominguez set the tone by connecting on a pitch that beamed straight back to the Boerne pitcher in the first inning, forcing a stoppage in play. Boerne’s pitcher was OK and remained in the game, but Dominguez’ base hit set the tone for the rest of the game.
“Their mindset was to come out and give it everything they had, so starting off with a strong hit like that set the tone and sent the message that we were determined to come in and battle,” said Reyes.
From that point on, Boerne’s starting pitcher struggled mightily. She struggled to hit the zone in the rainy conditions and walked five RFHS batters and allowed three hits over the next two innings.
Taking a 2-1 lead after the first inning, RFHS tripled that amount in the second inning.
Payton Martinez started things off with a 2-RBI triple deep into right field
After a couple base hits by Siarah Galvan and Maddie Mann, Mann scored after Emma Groseclose was hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded.
After allowing her fifth run on another walk, Boerne relieved their starting pitcher. Boerne’s new pitcher walked one more for another RFHS score before forcing a pop-fly to end the top of the second inning.
After keeping home plate clean in the bottom of the second inning, a base hit by Galvan in the top of the third inning brought in Martinez to give RFHS a 9-1 lead.
While both Boerne pitchers struggled to find the strike zone in the wet and windy conditions, Galvan remained poised and did not allow another run to score after the first inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, the rain and windy conditions escalated and brought on thunder and lightning, forcing a stoppage in play for more than an hour.
The game resumed at around 4:30 p.m. with RFHs still at-bat.
RFHS scored three more runs in the top of the fifth inning to make it 12-1. Two RFHS runs scored on walks and one off of a base hit by Kymberlyn Gerloff.
RFHS ended the game just before 5 p.m. in the bottom of the fifth inning with two strikeouts by Galvan and a putout by Mann on Boerne’s last at-bat.
Game three was set for 5:30 p.m.
While game one and two had been blowouts for both teams controlled by the winning pitcher, game three turned into a slugfest. Both teams accounted for five homeruns and 25 hits, with Boerne ultimately hitting the most with three home runs and 15 hits.
Through two innings, Boerne built up a 5-0 lead by way of two doubles and a homerun.
Not to be denied, RFHS let Boerne know they were still in it with a solo homerun shot by Krystal Kutach in the bottom of the second inning.
RFHS put two more runs on the board in the third inning with base hit up the middle by Galvan with bases loaded.
Galvan’s hit forced a fielding error and resulted in two runners scoring to make it 5-3.
However, Boerne answered big with five runs in the next inning. Another homerun and a double helped give them a 10-3 lead to end the fourth inning.
RFHS scored three more runs in the fifth inning.
Mann hit a two-run homerun to bring in Dominguez. Groseclose’ laser up the middle brought in Jordan Garza to make it 10-6.
The Lady Pirates were unable to find home plate again after the fifth inning. Three straight pop-fly’s in the sixth inning and one hit in the seventh inning ended the season for RFHS.
After game two, the wind and rain cleared up significantly, leading to a mostly dry game three. After game two, Reyes hoped it would have continued raining as she felt RFHS had a significant advantage in the elements.
“The rain didn’t faze us at all because we practice all the time when it rains,” said Reyes. “Doesn’t matter if its raining, drizzling, or cold, the girls are always out there. They were used to it. They were having fun with it.”
In all three contests, senior pitcher Galvan was on the mound for all but one inning against Boerne. Reyes said Galvan did what she had done all year for RFHS: battled.
“She’s carried us her entire career here at Rockport-Fulton. There was no doubt as she goes and progresses through a game, she doesn’t start getting flat, she just gets better and better,” said Reyes. “Her playing back-to-back, I wasn’t concerned with, because of the type of work ethic she has and the competitor she is. She fought hard.”
RFHS will return all but four seniors next season. Galvan, Mann, Dominguez, and Lydia Zavala have been four huge components of the Lady Pirates softball team since their freshman season.
Reyes said her group of seniors put RFHS on the map in terms of softball.
“They put Rockport-Fulton on the map,” said Reyes. “Before you talked Rockport, you’re asking, ‘What level are y’all? What’s your record? What do you all do?’ Now it’s like, we’re coming into places and they know who we are, and a lot of that is reflective of what these girls have poured into our program.”
Mann, who finished a stellar softball career at RFHS and will continue her softball career at Harding University, said being a Lady Pirate the last four years made her fall in love with softball even more.
“It’s given me a different place to call a family. I see them every single day for multiple hours, and it was so fun to be here with them,” said Mann. “They gave me so much happiness. They gave this sport I love even more love for it. They made it worth going to softball practice for three hours, playing in rain delays, everything. Everything was just so fun.”
Dominguez has been RFHS’ starting catcher since her freshman season. She will also continue her softball career at the next level at Vernon College. She was very thankful for the program her coaches provided her all four years as a Lady Pirate.
“Coach Reyes, coach (Mark) Jeffery, and coach (Lacey) Garza really shaped me into the player I am today, and I can say they really prepared me well to play at the next level at Vernon,” Dominguez said. “It’s meant a lot to me to be able to build bonds with these girls. My last year was probably my best year, and I felt like all of us were sisters.”