Victoria Advocate AdvoSports

Key moments propel Shiner back to state tournament
Sunday, May 29, 2016
by Chad Ferguson, special to the Advocate Article   |   Shiner Softball   |   Shiner Comanche Sports Home Page

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SEGUIN - The Lady Comanches were not going down without a fight.

After dropping Game 1 of their best-of-three Region IV-2A final series against district and playoff rival Weimar, Shiner had its back to the wall.

But, if he was worried, Shiner head coach Stephen Cerny didn't show it.

"That's why we play a series," he said after the Lady Comanches' loss Thursday night.

With both teams taking a day off for graduation, defending state champion Shiner (29-5) bounced back to win Game 2 8-4 and followed with a decisive 6-4 victory in Game 3 on Saturday at Morck Field at Ed Krause Stadium at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. The Lady Comanches earned a return trip to next week's UIL Class 2A state tournament.

It marked the fourth straight year for the two teams to meet in the regional championship. Weimar won in 2013 and 2014 en route to state championships, and the Lady Comanches returned the favor a year ago to win the Class 2A title.

It marked the fourth victory in six starts for Shiner to defeat the Lady Cats en route to their state- tournament berth.

Weimar, who opened its season at 0-6 with many of its starting lineup not on the field due to the Lady Cats' drive to the state basketball championship, finished its season at 20-13-1.

Forced to juggle its lineup in Game 3 due to an injury suffered in Game 2 by right fielder and leadoff hitter Kassidy Bishop, and also using Bethany Nevlud on the mound in place of Cece Darilek, the Lady Comanches struggled at times defensively but came together when it mattered the most to take the series.

Nevlud was the key ingredient. She entered Saturday's first game in relief of winning pitcher Darliek with bases loaded and one out with the eventual tying run in the on-deck circle to notch a save.

After walking in a run, she struck out the next two.

And in the clincher, she belted a three-run homer to highlight a four-run third inning to erase a 1-0 Weimar lead and was issued an intentional walk in a two-run second inning that eventually led to two runs and gave the Lady Comanches a 6-2 lead.

Nevlud went the distance to record her seventh win of the season against two losses. Two of the four runs charged against her were unearned on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.

"The bigger the game . the bigger she steps up," said Cerny of Nevlud's two-game performance.

The Lady Comanches led 8-0 in Game 2 before Weimar made a late run and Nevlud took control. Hannah Nevlud, Bethany Nevlud, Darilek and Kailey Williams had RBI singles in a five-run third that staked Shiner to a 5-0 cushion.

After Shiner had three runners cut down on the bases in the fourth, a three-run fifth extended the lead to 8-0.

Darrian Smith, the losing pitcher in both games, had a two-run single, and Hunter Ervin plated a run with a bunt single in the sixth. Darilek walked Mikayla Kunz to force Cerny to turn to Bethany Nevlud. Only a bases- loses walk to score courtesy runner Casey Menis spoiled her effort.

Bethany Nevlud's three-run blast was the key to the decisive third game of the series. It came with Weimar leading 1-0 thanks to an unearned run in the second.

The score was 4-2 when Darilek collected a RBI hit and Lauren Schuette recorded a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Smith's two-run home run in the seventh only brought the Lady Cats closer.

    No published box scores available. :(

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