Bowie barged back at the end but Westlake held on for a district-opening 10-7 win Tuesday night.
Lindsey McLeod (8-0) struck out 16 batters to pick up the victory while the Chaparrals bashed three homeruns, and had another three would-be homers just go foul.
“I was feeling good, I was ready to get our first win in district especially playing a big rival like Bowie,” McLeod said.
The meeting between District 15-5A rivals with both teams state ranked – Westlake fifth, Bowie eighth – was quite lopsided until the final two innings when Bowie crept back into the game.
“It’s a big wave of relief off our shoulders,” Westlake coach Haley Gaddis said. “Bowie’s a good ball club, they’re a team that always fights back. We knew even when we were up by nine we had to keep playing some good ball.”
Elizabeth DeBlasio was 4-for-4 with a homerun, a double, two runs scored and three RBIs. Liz Carter was 2-for-4 with two runs, a two-run homer and three RBIs, and Kate Nichols also had a homer for Westlake (17-3, 1-0 District 15-5A).
“It means a lot (to get the win),” DeBlasio said. “To come out and beat them in our first (district) game is pretty impressive. We’re feeling pretty good, 1-0 in district so far and we’ve won our past three tournaments. (I’m) pretty pumped up; it’s going along strong.”
Cedar Slovacek was 3-for-4 with a run, while Leah Hook, Stephanie Wong and Lauren McLeod added RBIs.
The Chaps scored two runs in the second on DeBlasio and Nichols homeruns, coming one batter apart, and scored another two in the third on RBIs from Carter and DeBlasio to go up 4-0.
A double by Lauren McLeod followed by a triple from Stephanie Wong scored two more in the fourth, with Carter’s two-run shot an an RBI double by DeBlasio making it 9-0 after four.
Bowie star pitcher Jayme Perez didn’t make the start due to illness, so lefty Lyndsey Long got the start for the Lady Bulldawgs.
“We’ve been working a lot on our hitting,” Gaddis said. “We talked about timing tonight because their pitcher was a little bit slower than we’re used to, and we made our adjustments.”
The eighth-ranked Lady Dawgs (0-1) pecked away with two runs in the sixth to make it 9-2, but the Chaps added one in the bottom half for a 10-2 lead.
After six, Gaddis turned to Carter, who has been working her way back from injury, to pitch the last inning but the senior couldn’t settle in.
Three straight hits and three runs later, it was 10-5 and Gaddis turned back to McLeod to close out the win.
The sophomore righty admitted she was a bit cold and ‘not in the zone’ anymore when she reentered. After allowing a double, walk and single the score got to 10-7, but she struck out the final two hitters to close out the win.
“It was actually pretty tough, I was sitting there and got out of my zone,” McLeod said. “Then she just points at me and calls me back in so I ripped off my jacket and went back out there. It was definitely not easy. The fact we beat one of our big rivals gives us a lot of confidence.”
McLeod got the nod in the district opener due to her stellar pitching so far this spring, but the second-year varsity starter was still a bit surprised to take the mound against Bowie.
“I was hoping I would start actually. It meant a lot, being a sophomore with two senior pitchers,” the sophomore said. “It meant a lot she’d want me to start against a big rival. It was kind of surprising actually.”
Gaddis felt confident in putting her out there Tuesday night, coming off McLeod’s MVP performance at the Corpus Christi Tournament over the weekend.
“She’s been doing great, that’s why I gave her the start tonight because she’s really proved herself and did a great job,” Gaddis said.
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