Seahawks rally falls one run short at Coastal Bend

Lamar State College Port Arthur sophomore Olivia Rivera appeared in her first-ever collegiate pitching role against Coastal Bend College on April 20, 2019.
Lamar State College Port Arthur sophomore Olivia Rivera appeared in her first-ever collegiate pitching role against Coastal Bend College on April 20, 2019.

It's the stuff of nightmares.

After falling behind 8-0, Lamar State College Port Arthur charged back to tie the game, fell behind again by a run, then came back again to knot the game at 9-9.

The Coastal Bend picked up a walk-off single to take the NJCAA Region 14 final 10-9 in Beeville on Saturday, April 20.

The Seahawks fall to 15-22 overall and 6-12 in conference play while Coastal Bend improved its standings wtih the doubleheader sweep to 23-20, 8-10. The Cougars won the first game of the day 9-3.

The Seahawks watched helplessly as the Cougars rolled off eight unanswered runs in the second inning of Game 2, though apparently something inside sparked as LSCPA came back to score three runs in the third and five in the fourth to tie the game at eight apiece.

Makasha Brown opened the third with a single then advanced to second base on a groundout. Facing two outs, Britni Hunt walked, then Madeline Stone singled to score Brown for the Seahawks' first run of the game. Jessica Saenz singled in the next at-bat, plating both Hunt and Stone for the 8-3 difference.

That momentum followed the Seahawks into the fourth inning. Olivia Rivera singled to open the inning, followed by a Brooke Smith single. Brown drew a walk to load the bases.

That's when Vanessa Espitia doubled to right field to score all three base runners for the 8-6 score. Hunt singled to put runners at first and third. Stone hit into a fielder's choice with Espitia coming home for the 8-7 difference.

With runners at the corners again, Elicia Gonzales reached on an error by the Coastal Bend right fielder with Stone crossing the plate for a tie game.

That's where the score stood until the sixth inning when Coastal Bend launched a home run shot to center for a 9-8 lead.

Saenz singled to open the bottom of the sixth, but it appeared the magic might have faded when the next hitter grouned into a double play. Rivera wasn't done, though, picking up a two-out single, followed by an RBI double by Brooke Smith. Unable to move Smith around for the lead, the Seahawks went to the middle of the seventh inning tied 9-9.

Coastal Bend led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and on the next at-bat, a fielding error allowed the leadoff base runner to reach third.

With one out and facing a two ball, two strike count, the Cougar hitter singled home the winning run.

Saenz ruled at the plate with a 3 for 4 performance with two RBIs, while Rivera finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Smith was 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.

Four difference pitchers worked the circle for the Seahawks with late reliever Espitia taking the loss after working 1.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits.

Kassandra Vargas started the game, working 1.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on three hits with four walks. Saenz worked two-thirds of an inning, allowing three earned runs on four hits.

Sophomore Rivera appeared in her first-ever collegiate pitching role, going three innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.