GONZALES — The “timely hit,” as Gonzales Head Coach Sam White described, just wasn’t there for the young Gonzales Lady Apaches as they took their first district loss of the season, a 14-0 tilt against state-ranked Navarro on Tuesday,
“We had the opportunity,” White said, “we’re not getting the quality hits, the quality at-bats and the timely hits to score those runs. You got to do that in order to keep games close.”
Especially against a team like the Lady Panthers who take advantage of any mistakes made on the field. The Lady Apaches are facing tough competition in District 27-4A. Three of the five teams in the district are currently ranked in the Texas Girls Coaches Association. This week, Navarro is ranked 23rd, Wimberley is seventh and La Vernia is sixth.
The Lady Apaches have shown “moments of greatness,” White said, specifically in the second inning down 2-0 with the bases loaded. Just one out on the board, freshman pitcher Ashleigh Luensmann forced a fly out to shortstop, then a ground out soon after to stand all three runners.
“There are moments of greatness, moments of potential, I see moments to build on, they’re learning,” White said. “It may not happen this year because we’re young and we don’t have to feel like we have to accomplish everything this year. [But] it’s a process. It’s a learning process, getting them reps.”
The Lady Panthers added two runs in the third, then scored 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings off nine hits, three of which were home runs.
“I’m proud of Ash [Luensmann], she’s throwing strikes, they made contact with the ball, she made them hit the ball, that’s all you can ask,” White said. “I only think she had, what, one walk? The first batter. You can’t ask for more than that. They’re hitting home runs. She’s keeping the ball over the plate, working the plate, and that’s all you can ask.”
White also touted the plays of freshmen Shelby Davis who stepped in as relief in the fifth inning and third baseman Trinity Aguero.
Unfortunately, the youth is something the Lady Apaches will have to overcome to remain competitive in District 27-4A.
“Bottom line is we’re young,” White said. “After graduating eight seniors last year, I’m playing with three freshmen in the starting lineup that are doing really great, they’re growing, they’re learning… We’re just really struggling in certain spots right now because we’re young. We lack the experience that we need to really be competitive on a higher level against some of these teams like Navarro, La Vernia or Wimberley. We got to find a way to play ‘bigger.’ We got to play bigger and older than we are. That’s asking a lot out of these youngsters. But patience, just got to have a lot of patience, a lot of confidence, build our confidence in ourselves. I think they’re doing that, I think they’re getting there. They’re just young.”
The Lady Apaches are 1-1 in district after beating Austin Eastside Memorial last Friday 24-3.