By GREG WEBB
Side-by-side double headers provided WC baseball and softball fans a treat with rare Friday night fare. The Lady Coyotes hosted Vernon at Stuart Field while the Weatherford College baseball team entertained Hill College. Both were North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) twin bills, with the start times staggered for fans who wanted to catch a sampling of both events.
And the WC teams very nearly provided a foursome of victories, except for a ninth-inning Hill rally that buried the Coyotes’ hopes in the Friday nightcap. The Weatherford women swept its double header over Vernon, 4-1 and 7-0. In baseball, after beating Hill handily in the first contest, 11-6, WC was ambushed with a 7-run rally by the Highlanders in the final frame, losing 12-5.
Sophomore pitcher Kylee Studioso kept her non-blemished conference record intact in the Lady Coyotes opening game on Friday, serving up a 3-hitter to facilitate the 4-1 win.
Down a run going into the bottom of the third, WC put together a 1-out rally that began with a Samantha Alegria double to center, followed by Courtney Duplechin’s Texas Leaguer single to right. Luci Ponce singled and Kortney Koroll lifted a sac fly, setting up the big blast of the inning by Katy Vandewater, who hit a 2-run shot over the left field wall.
The four runs would be all WC needed, as there was no more scoring in the game. Studioso went the distance in the circle, recording six strikeouts.
Starting pitcher Bailee Wortham followed suit in the second contest, also pitching a 3-hitter, while adding another shutout to her record. Wortham gave up just a single walk and worked out of a bases-loaded situation while the game was still in doubt in the middle innings.
The Lady Coyotes’ offense was more lethal, and opportunistic, as the game progressed, taking advantage of four Vernon errors while banging out six hits in the game. Alegria netted a pair of RBIs and scored a run, while leadoff hitter Molly Holliday also had productive plate appearances, hitting safely twice and scored twice.
At 17-1 in NTJCAC play, the WC women currently enjoy a 3-game lead over second-place Temple. In the latest NJCAA poll, the Lady Coyotes remain at the No. 14 spot. Next up for WC’s conference slate is a double header at Cisco, on Saturday. First pitch is 1 p.m.
Climbing two games over the .500 mark with a 4-game sweep over Vernon, the baseball Coyotes remain there after splitting the 4-game set with Hill.
Justin Garcia threw a complete-game victory in the first game on Friday, bolstered by the Coyotes’ four runs in the bottom half of the first frame. Spurred by catcher Paxton Delagarza’s 3-run, 3-hit, 2-RBI performance at the plate, WC churned out 11-runs for Garcia who was credited with the win.
In the second game, Weatherford chipped away at an early Hill lead, finally drawing even in the fifth when Trooper Reynolds singled home Hunter Lockwood, knotting the score at 5-all.
A defensive dual ensued over the next three innings, until things went awry for the Coyotes in the top of the ninth. A Hill double preceded an error, which opened the floodgates, leading to a 7-run rally that saw Hill batting around in the order while WC cycled through three pitchers. The Coyotes managed a base runner in the bottom half, but the Hill starter fanned the side to complete the series split.
Weatherford College stays well in the NTJCAC mix with its 9-7 record, looking to string some wins together to get nearer the top with Temple. WC hosts McLennan on Wednesday at 1 p.m.