By BOB CRAMER
Like any other sport, fast-pitch softball can be a game of adjustments. Make them, and you win. Fail, and you may lose.
Mustang High School pretty much has been making all the right moves this season — just as freshman right-hander Landry Garza did Tuesday night on the Lady Broncos’ home diamond.
Garza yielded just one hit, a fourth-inning solo home run to Edmond North’s Kamryn Garvie, as Mustang run-ruled the Lady Huskies, 11-1, in five innings. It was Mustang’s 10th straight win.
“I’ll brag on her a bunch. She just keeps getting better each week,” Lady Broncos coach Jamie Roberts said of Garza. “She had great confidence and poise in the circle.
“That was her best game of the season. All of her pitches were on. She had great command of her pitches.”
Garza (7-1) walked two and struck out eight, helping Mustang move to 11-1 overall and 5-0 in the district.
“I tried to catch them off guard by not pitching to the same spots,” said Garza, who found late success with her off-speed curves and changeup. “I switched up my pitches and locations.
“I did a pretty good job the first couple of innings. I kept my pitch count down. Then I started falling behind. But I finished strong, throwing my off-speed curves.”
Edmond North coach Rick Nordyke described how Garza frustrated his hitters.
“She does a good job keeping you off-balance,” he said. “She has a good rise ball and curve. She didn’t throw as many (changeups) as she did the first time we played.”
Garza defeated the Lady Huskies 6-2 in the season opener Aug. 9 in Edmond. North fell to 8-6 overall, 4-4 in district.
Garza also helped herself with the bat, hitting a two-run single in the four-run third inning as the Lady Broncos opened a 7-0 lead. She had an RBI single in the fourth.
Garza said she altered her approach to hitting against relief pitcher Evy Aud, who she faced in the first game.
“I didn’t hit very well the first game,” said Garza, who follows cleanup hitter Cassie Passwaters in the batting order.
“I had to adjust to her slow pitches and hit early in the count.”
Garza was 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs.
Roberts was pleased with Mustang’s aggressive offense, which generated 10 hits.
“Our base running was real aggressive. That’s our approach,” Roberts said. “Coming back from a holiday weekend (Labor Day), I was proud of how we attacked them.”
The Lady Bronco base runners forced North fielders into four errors.
Mustang led from the outset, scoring with two outs in the first. Micaela Harcrow tripled off the fence in left-center, then trotted home as Passwaters ripped a line single to center field.
An error and Lauryn Cottrell’s ground single to right produced two runs in the second inning.
In the third inning, an error, and Kendall Hannon’s sacrifice fly brought in two runs after Garza’s bases-loaded single. Also, Kayla Mantooth doubled and Logan Picklesimer singled in the inning.
Mustang capped the scoring with a four-run fourth. Harcrow doubled with one out and plated Hannah Keele, who had led off with a double. An error and singles by Garza and Picklesimer scored the other three runs.
Mantooth, the center fielder, ended 2-for-2 and scored three runs. Picklesimer, the shortstop, was 2-for-2.
On Aug. 29, Mustang run-ruled Norman North, 18-4, in six innings. Garza was the winning pitcher with a five-hitter.
She yielded just one earned run, walked one and struck out 10.
Mantooth, Harcrow and Picklesimer each had three hits in the 17-hit barrage. Payton Henry, Keele and Passwaters added two hits apiece.
Leadoff hitter Keele scored four runs, Mantooth knocked in five runs and scored four and Harcrow had a double, three RBI and four runs scored. Henry tripled and added two RBI, Passwaters had two doubles and two RBI and Garza was 1-for-4 with two RBI.