Pearland sweeps Dobie, will play in state softball tourney
MANVEL — Pearland’s penchant for taking chances earned it a third consecutive trip to the state softball tournament Friday night.
The Oilers (35-13) turned those opportunities into runs in the fifth and sixth innings to beat Dobie 3-1 and complete a two-game sweep of the Class 5A Region III final.
With the game tied at 1 entering the bottom of the fifth, the defending state champions got to work.
A leadoff single by Courtney Sams, a fielder’s choice and an error gave the Oilers a runner on second. When Leandra Maly singled up the middle, the throw in was bobbled in the infield. Pearland coach Laneigh Clark waved in Krystal Ogg from third, with Ogg beating the throw home.
“In one of the earlier innings, I thought I had taken too much of a chance by sending a runner to home when I should have held her,” Clark said. “But part of our game is to take chances and run. That ended up helping us in the inning.”
Pearland had lost an opportunity to take the lead in the fourth when Dobie’s Kellen Gomez threw out Stacie Pilkington at the plate after making a catch in left field.
Kristen Cuyos opened the Pearland half of the sixth with a triple to deep center. Brooke Dubois grounded back to the circle where Longhorns pitcher Shannon O’Connor tossed it to first for the out.
It was a routine play for everyone except Cuyos, who took off for the plate and scored when catcher Ariel Morgan couldn’t hold the ball in the ensuing collision.
“People forget (Cuyos) is a freshman by the way she plays,” Clark said. “She is very aggressive. She knows when she can go and when she needs to come back.”
The game featured another pitching duel between Pearland senior Jessica Bowden and O’Connor, a junior.
Haley Beam relieved Bowden with one out in the sixth after Morgan doubled to give Dobie its seventh hit of the night.
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