Nixon-Smiley scored multiple runs in four of seven innings while Kendall Amaya kept Lago Vista hitters off-balance for most of the game in an 11-4 bi-district opening game victory Thursday, April 28, at Kyle Lehman High School.
The two teams are scheduled to play again at 5 p.m. Friday, April 29, in Kyle, with a third game to follow the second, if necessary.
The two freshmen at the top of the lineup — catcher Hailee Houseton and second baseman Emily Granados — set the table for the team’s two big bats, shortstop Mady Velasquez and Amaya, who combined for five of the team’s eight hits and seven of its eight RBIs.
While neither Houseton or Granados got a hit in 10 total plate appearances, they each reached base twice via walk and once on an error. Houseton scored three runs, while Granados scored twice and had an RBI.
Velasquez was a perfect 5-for-5 in plate appearances as she went 3-for-3 with a pair of walks and drove in four runs, including the first two of the game in the first and third innings. Amaya went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs, including two in the top of the fifth after Lago Vista intentionally walked Velasquez to load the bases with two out to make it 8-0 at that point.
Toward the bottom of the lineup, right fielder Natalee Mendez went 1-for-2 in four plate appearances with two walks and scored three runs as well. After settling down some following the second inning, the Lady Mustangs were patient and selective at the plate as they saw their way to nine walks.
Nixon-Smiley scored one in the first, two in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and three in the seventh. The other hits for the Lady Mustangs were by senior first baseman Carlee Cano and junior third baseman Haven Davis.
On the mound, Amaya scattered six hits and walked just one batter while striking out seven. She only had one bad inning — the bottom of the fifth — when Lago Vista scored three runs to cut their deficit to 8-3 thanks to a check-swing single, double, triple, catcher’s intereference and single before the defense closed the door.
Lago Vista would also get one last run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late for the Lady Vikings. Batters only hit .200 against Amaya for the game and she needed just 87 pitches to get the win.