SOFTBALL: Panthers’ pitcher shuts down Aztecs in rain game

Corcoran’s freshman pitcher serves the Aztecs their first home loss of the season after allowing only one run

FARMERSVILLE – With a rain delay in the fifth inning, the Corcoran Panthers only seemed to gain momentum, scoring five runs against the Aztecs after play resumed for a 6-1 victory.

The Panthers handed the Farmersville Aztecs their second loss of the season on March 22 after taking their chances in the rain. The Panthers and Aztecs had four innings of decent weather before a shower of rain pushed them off the field. The Panthers were already up 1-0 when the game was delayed due to rain, then came back and scored five more through the fifth and sixth innings. The Aztecs managed one run in the fifth inning, but couldn’t manage a comeback against the tough Panthers’ pitcher.

“We do well in the rain,” Corcoran head coach Matthew Romero said. “I don’t know what it is but the energy from the rain just picks up in the squad, so we like it.”

Until the rain delay, both teams were fighting to get on base. Only the Panthers managed to get a run when junior Rozalynn Yang-Garza was hit by a pitch to get on base and made her way around for a run in the second inning. Corcoran pitcher Aliyah Andrade, a freshman, was a tough pitcher for the Aztec batters. She struck out normally strong batters Alexis Hernandez and Janessa Garza.

“I don’t think anything went wrong for us, I think it was just a really good Corcoran team,” Farmersville assistant coach Albert Romero said. “Really good pitcher and we really got challenged today.”

After winning their first nine games in a row, the Aztecs finally lost their winning streak to the Lindsay Cardinals on March 20. The Cardinals are also known for having an exceptionally strong pitcher. Perhaps playing Lindsay and Corcoran has revealed a weakness in the Aztecs’ game.

The normally strong Aztecs’ defense faltered after the rain delay. Though the girls stayed loose and warm during the break, they made more errors in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings that made the game last longer, allowing the Panthers to run up the score. In contrast, the Panthers’ play remained as consistent as it had before the delay, if not better. Though several games and practices have been postponed or canceled, the Panthers have continued to work hard.

“If we’re not on the field, we’re in the weight room,” Matthew Romero said. “We’re hitting weights and we’re getting stronger. We’re hitting the ball harder by being in the weight room.”

Both teams came in with only one loss on their record. Farmersville hadn’t lost at home. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, the Panthers were the ones who came out on top. Both teams will play in the Sierra Pacific Tournament beginning March 24 and continuing through the weekend. Corcoran will face Arvin and Sierra Pacific and Farmersville will face Kerman, Arvin and Hanford West.

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