By BOB CRAMER
A family feud of sorts unfolded Tuesday night when Mustang High School’s fast-pitch softball team hosted Norman North.
Freshman pitcher Landry Garza, the Lady Broncos’ ace right-hander, outdueled her cousin, Gabbi Garza, in Mustang’s 8-0 victory.
Landry Garza scattered four hits, walked one and struck out 10.
Before the game, Landry Garza said she told her teammates, “Guys, we’ve got to win this game because my cousin is pitching.
“I pitched against her the first game when she was a reliever. It was a fun experience. Our family was all there.”
On Aug. 29 in Norman, Landry Garza pitched Mustang by North in an 18-4 run-rule decision.
Landry Garza (8-0) only faced two threats Tuesday.
In the second inning with runners on second and third base with two outs, she induced an infield pop-up.
In the fifth inning, with one out and the bases loaded, she got a strikeout and fly-ball out.
“We kept swinging at her up pitch, the riser,” Norman North coach Trey Palacol said. “She mixed in the change-up, too. That’s something she didn’t throw the first game.”
At the plate, Landry Garza went 0-for-3 against her cousin, a sophomore right-hander, and said: “She shut me down. She’s gotten so much better and is starting now.”
Mustang improved to 15-2 overall, 7-0 in district; Norman North fell to 5-8 and 1-3.
After a slow start, Mustang’s hitters awakened, led by Kayla Mantooth (3-for-4, double, one run, two stolen bases), Micaela Harcrow (2-for-3, two runs, a double and an RBI) and Cassie Passwaters (1-for-3, two runs), who belted a two-run, fourth-inning homer over the center-field wall.
Mustang’s base-running hurried Norman North into four errors and resulted in four stolen bases.
Mustang plays Thursday at Deer Creek of Edmond.
Mustang bounced back from a loss to Newcastle, run-ruling Norman, 10-0, on Sept. 7 in the Choctaw Tournament. The game was played at Midwest City Carl Albert.
Mustang sophomore right-hander Lauryn Cottrell (4-1) pitched a four-hitter over six innings.
“Anytime you throw a shutout, it’s a job well done,” Mustang coach Jamie Roberts said. “I was mostly impressed by Lauryn’s defensive plays in the circle on the line drives.”
Roberts said she liked Cottrell’s poise and how she changed speeds throughout the game.
Cottrell, who normally is the team’s closer, won two games in the tournament as a starter, lowering her ERA to 1.54.
“I threw my knuckleball and screwball well,” Cottrell said, “and was able to work ahead in the count.”
Cottrell went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored and RBI against Norman (8-8).
Mustang had 13 hits, including two each by Hannah Keele, Mantooth, Harcrow and Logan Picklesimer.
Mustang ran into a a buzz-saw Sept. 6, losing 9-1 to Newcastle and ace hurler McKenzie Wagoner in the tournament. The Racers were Class 4A state runners-up last season.
The defeat snapped the Lady Broncos’ 12-game winning streak.
Mustang scored the first earned run this season off Wagoner, a senior right-hander who entered the game with seven straight shutouts.
Wagoner (9-0) pitched Newcastle (10-1) past Carl Albert, 4-3, on Sept. 7 in the tournament’s title game.
Cottrell and Garza threw gems as Mustang clipped Washington and Moore last week by identical 3-1 scores.
Cottrell allowed only two hits and one earned run against Washington on Sept. 6. Passwaters went 2-for-3 with a double and Harcrow was 2-for-2 with a run and RBI.
Garza pitched a complete game six-hitter in beating Moore in a district game Sept. 5. Passwaters and Garza each had two hits and Harcrow, a senior first baseman, handled eight chances in the field without error.