Down 3-1 in the top of the seventh inning, the Robstown Lady Pickers rallied from behind Friday to eliminate the Moody Lady Trojans from the playoffs, winning 4-3 and capturing the Area Championship at Cabaniss Field.
With one out and runners at second and third, right fielder Liza Silva was at the plate.
Hitting a grounder that looked to be a routine 4-3 groundout, Silva beat the throw to first getting an RBI as left fielder Luckie Arevalo crossed home, narrowing thegap, 3-2.
Lady Picker Miranda Lascano was still running after Moody missed the grounder. Heaing toward home, Lady Trojan first base person Kaylee Villanueva threw to catcher Laura Benavidez at the plate, but Lascano was safe as Robstown tied the game, 3-3.
Shortstop Ashley Limones was next at bat. Limones hit an RBI-triple on the first-pitch that sealed the win for the Lady Pickers.
Robstown coach Sart Perez had some expectations about going against the District 30-4A champions.
"They were very high," Perez said. "The girls looked forward to playing Moody every year and we were very excited to meet them in the playoffs."
The win advances the Lady Pickers to the Regional quarterfinal.
Robstown pitcher Vianca Pesina was on the mound the entire game, giving up three runs, six hits, and striking out 10 batters.
"I was just trying to do my best," Pesina said. "I didn't want this to be my last game here. I was just going out there and looking for the win."
Moody pitcher Miranda Flores also pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
It didn't take long for the Lady Pickers to get on the board as the game began.
In the top of the first with one out and a runner on third, catcher Laura Benavidez hit the ball deep in left center field. Shortstop Ashley Limones tagged up, reaching home on the RBI sac-fly, putting Robstown up 1-0.
Pesina put herself in dangerous territory in the bottom half of the inning.
With one out and runners at first and second base, Moody shortstop Audrey Gonzalez hit what might have been a routine 5-3 groundout to first. Lady Picker third baseperson Clarissa Aleman hesitated to throw the ball, leaving everybody safe with the bases loaded.
Pesina maintained her focus and Aleman redeemed herself after Lady Trojan left fielder Olivia Martinez hit a routine grounder to third. Aleman threw centerfielder Samantha Jeter out at home, keeping Moody from scoring.
Lady Trojan catcher Alyssa Medellin was next to bat with the bases still loaded with two outs.
On a 1-and-2 count, Medellin struck out swinging and left the bases juiced to end the inning.
Still 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Moody began to take charge.
With nobody out and the bases loaded, Pesina faced first baseperson Natalie Vella. Down two strikes, Vella hit a single to center field, bringing in Mendez to score and tie the game 1-1, with the bases still loaded.
After striking out right fielder Michelle Hernandez for the first out, Jeter came up to the plate and hit a 2-run RBI double to left center field, putting Moody ahead 3-1.
Robstown remained optimistic, despite being down heading into the top of the seventh.
"From the coaching staff to the players, we were still positive that we could win this," Perez said. "We had our fourth, fifth and sixth batters up and they have been coming through in games past this season."
Despite giving up the lead, Perez kept Pesina in for the seventh inning
"I didn't even think about pulling her out of the game," Perez said. "She's the one pitcher that I would go with to get the win."
The Lady Pickers will face the Beeville Lady Trojans in a one-game playoff at 7:30 Friday night at Picker Softball Field.
"We had set a goal to get past regionals," Perez said. "We have always fallen short of getting there and I hope we can keep on going."