PONDER — For one half inning, Millsap looked like it finally had figured out Ponder and starting pitcher Jessica Orozco, who tossed a no-hitter against the Lady Bulldogs earlier in the District 9-2A schedule.
That’s as far as Millsap’s slugfest got Tuesday. Ponder batted around in every inning — including an eight-run third — and Orozco didn’t allow a hit after surrendering three runs in the top of the first to win 19-3 in three innings.
In two meetings this season, the Lady Lions (15-10, 10-1 district), ranked 19th in Class 2A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, scored 41 runs against Millsap (5-21, 0-12) in eight total innings.
“I think the girls did a good job of not letting themselves get down [emotionally] once we did get behind, because we’ve done that sort of stuff in the past,” Ponder coach Paige Wells said. “They were confident they could come out and hit this pitcher. Jessica almost had a chance at a perfect game the first time we played them, and she came in confident tonight, too. She settled down pretty quick.”
Orozco — who allowed three hits while striking out seven — retired the final seven batters she faced after falling behind by three runs.
She struck out 14 in her no-hitter at Millsap on March 21.
Millsap’s Hailey Puma faced 10 batters in each inning. She gave up 14 hits — five for extra bases — but wasn’t helped much by the Lady Bulldogs’ defense, which committed five errors.
One of those errors came on the last at-bat of the game when Orozco hit a fly ball to left field. The ball was dropped, resulting in two more runs for Ponder. Officials called the game with two outs in the inning.
At least early on, it didn’t look like the game would get out of hand. The Lady Bulldogs scored two quick runs off a Ponder error, a double by Sydney Ward and a triple from Sierra Jackson in the top of the first. Puma then gave herself a 3-0 cushion when a run scored as she was thrown out at first.
Yet Ponder stormed back with six runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by Kara Parr’s two-run triple. The Lady Lions put the game out of reach with five runs in the second and eight in the third, a surge that included triples by Orozco and Madison Welch. Andie Beer and Kara Ortiz doubled.
Beer finished the night 3-for-3 at the plate with five RBIs.
Ponder wraps up district play Friday at Alvord.
“In our last meeting with them [Alvord], they threw a really good sophomore pitcher and she held us to three runs,” Wells said. “We’re going to have our hands full.”
Ponder 19, Millsap 3
WP — Jessica Orozco. LP — Hailey Puma. 3B — P: Kara Parr, Jessica Orozco, Madison Welch. M: Sierra Jackson. 2B — P: Andie Beer, Kara Ortiz. M: Sydney Ward. Records — Millsap 5-21, 0-12; Ponder 15-10, 10-1.