Home run sets tone for New Braunfels Canyon
NEW BRAUNFELS — The first sign New Braunfels Canyon sophomore Aliyah Pritchett was going have a huge game occurred on the first pitch of the Cougarettes’ District 27-6A home contest against East Central on Tuesday night.
Playing third base, she snagged a hard grounder and threw out East Central’s Kendall Talley.
Pritchett followed in the bottom half of the first by smashing an inside fastball over the left-field fence for a three runs that sent Canyon on its way to a 9-0 victory.
Pritchett went 4 for 4 with two home runs, two singles, four RBIs and four runs scored.
“I’ve just been working with it and working with my teammates to make it better,” Pritchett said of her hitting.
Pritchett, a transfer from Southwest, led a 12-hit barrage for the Cougarettes. Sydney Belvin went 2 of 2 and Bailey Zibelin was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. That was plenty for pitcher Brooke Vestal, who had 13 strikeouts and allowed two hits.
“I felt like this was one of our better games overall this season,” Canyon coach Kevin Randle said. “It seemed like things really clicked for us offensively and defensively.”
The first inning set it all up. After Vestal closed out the top half with two strikeouts, Belvin reached on a single. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yasmin Perez. Vestal then reached on a fielder’s choice before Pritchett hit her first home run.
“Defense and pitching in the top half of the first, I thought we set the tone there, and then set the tone offensively with the home run,” Randle said. “Everyone maintained that type of intensity of the rest of the game.”
The Cougarettes scored four times in the third inning, which was highlighted by a two-run, two-out double by Zibelin that made the score 7-0.
Pritchett capped the scoring with a solo shot to left-center in the sixth.
“When one person gets going, everybody just picks up after that and we can’t be stopped after that,” Pritchett said.
Canyon, which improved to 16-5 overall and 6-0 in district, opened a two-game lead over East Central (16-3, 4-2) in the 27-6A standings.
“It doesn’t mean anything if we play poorly on Friday night,” Randle said. “We want to try to maintain that level.”