90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

By Kyle Gregory
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer

Westlake softball’s undefeated tear through District 15-5A came to an end March 28 as the Chaps fell to old district rival Bowie 3-2.

“I feel fine,” Lauren McLeod said. “We couldn’t have done any better than we did. We hit the crap out the ball, but we just happened to hit it to people that were there. They hit it equally as well. We had no errors; we couldn’t have improved on anything that we did so I’m not worried. We have a great team.”

Westlake (23-4, 6-1 in district) starting pitcher Lindsey McLeod and Bowie pitcher Jayme Perez dominated in the early portion of the game. Neither faced more than four batters per side through the first three innings.

Westlake finally broke the standoff in the top of the fourth with a leadoff homer from Liz Carter. The subsequent Chaps’ batters were unable to capitalize on the momentum and Westlake entered the bottom of the fourth up 1-0.

The Cavs added to their lead in the next inning, again courtesy of some leadoff power. Lauren McLeod and Stephanie Wong banged two consecutive doubles to start the inning and give Westlake the 2-0 lead.

The lead was short lived, as Bowie pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back homers. A two-run shot tied the game and the next one gave Bowie the 3-2 lead, which they would never relinquish.

The Chaps came close to tying the game in the top of the seventh.

With two outs, Wong singled and then used some gutsy baserunning to turn a passed ball into two bases. Aaliyah Gibson then hit what would have been a game-tying line drive, but it shot directly into the mitt of the Bowie shortstop.

“When things get tight, players get tight; I knew that if I was relaxed I’d have the edge on them and catch them off guard,” Wong said.

Lindsey McLeod pitched into the fifth inning, allowing three runs on four hits. She finished with six strikeouts and zero walks. Lauren McLeod came on in relief in the fifth and allowed no runs while striking out two and walking zero.

Wong led the Chaps offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch and a RBI. Gibson and Lauren McLeod also doubled, while Carter had a homerun.

“That was a really good game,” Westlake coach Haley Gaddis said. “We didn’t talk very long after the game because I told them that I had no complaints. We hit the ball, and we hit it hard,. We just happened to hit it at some people. Bowie’s always a good ball club and Jayme Perez is a pretty good pitcher on the mound. To come out and fire rockets, I couldn’t ask for anything less.”

The loss ends an 18-game win streak and leaves Westlake tied with Bowie at the top of the district standings. Westlake beat Bowie in the two teams’ first matchup 10-7.

“Bowie’s a great team,” Lauren McLeod said. “We knew that they were going to be tough. We lost once last year and still got the true championship, so I’m not worried about it.”

The Chaps face Akins Thursday at Guerrero Park at 7 p.m. and will play Anderson 7 p.m. Friday at Noack Field No. 4.

“Our destiny is in our hands,” Gaddis said. “We just come out and play ball like we’ve been doing and win out, then good things will happen and we’ll be district champs.”
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