The Navasota Lady Rattlers fell short of their playoff goal in a perpetually stacked District 26-4A but ended the season with a 3-1 win over Giddings.
Navasota dropped a pair of games last week to Bellville 8-1 and Smithville 7-6.
After a historic season a year ago, when the Lady Rattlers punched their ticket to the playoffs for the first time in school history, sophomore pitcher Emily Ripkoski added another first for Navasota softball by surpassing the 100-strikeout mark.
Ripkoski, the ace of the Rattler pitching staff, entered Friday’s game against Smith-ville five strikeouts shy of the century mark. She fanned nine Lady Tigers Friday and struck out six batters Monday against Giddings to raise her strikeout total to 110 on the season. She is the first Lady Rattler pitcher to reach 100 strikeouts in a season.
Giddings 1, Navasota 3
Navasota concluded the season on a positive note, defeating Giddings 3-1.
Desiree Calderon jump-started the Lady Rattlers with a single in the bottom of the second. Calderon was plated by a single off the bat of Brianna Weaver later in the inning.
Giddings tied the game in the top of the sixth. Kaitly Nunes reached on a single and was driven home on an RBI double from Keitzi King.
The Lady Rattlers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win. Samantha Harris led with a double to center field. Calderon followed with a single to center. Isabella Dobajanski singled driving in Harris.
Madison Bowman laid down a bunt to score Calderon, finalizing the score 3-1.
Navasota 6, Smithville 7
Navasota scored a pair of runs to begin the first inning. Alyssa Bustamante scored on an error and Harris crossed the plate on a passed ball.
Smithville knotted the score in the bottom of the second on a two-RBI double from Haylee Schultz.
The Lady Tigers took a one run lead in the bottom of the third.
Melissa Rapp hit a one-out single to spark a big fifth inning for the Lady Rattlers. Ronia Brown reached base the hard way, being hit by a pitch.
Mia Nunez doubled to right field, plating Rapp and Brown to take the lead 4-3.
Nunez later came around to score on an error, giving Navasota a 5-3 advantage. Bustamante scored her second run of the game and final run in the inning for the Lady Rattlers on a passed ball. Navasota led 6-3.
Gabby Leal led off the home half of the sixth inning, propelling a three-run inning to even the score 6-6. Leal scored on the second of consecutive errors by Navasota.
Dallie Ferrell stole home on a double steal to bring Smith-ville within one. Carlea Kubicek knotted the score crossing the plate on an error.
Randi Hill tripled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Ripkoski struck out the next batter and Bustamante caught a fly ball for the second out.
Ferrell delivered the dagger, an RBI single to left field that won the game for the Lady Tigers in walk-off fashion.
Nunez and Bustamante each collected a pair of hits for the Lady Rattlers. Dobajanski, Ripkoski, Harris, and Rapp each had one hit in the game.
Ripkoski surrendered nine hits, three earned runs, and no walks to go along with her nine strikeouts.
Navasota 1, Bellville 8
The Lady Brahmas scored eight runs on nine hits to defeat Navasota 8-1.
Rapp singled home Dobajanski on a bunt in the top of the fourth for Navasota’s lone run of the game. The Lady Rattlers four hits in the contest were collected by Ripkoski, Harris, Dobajanski and Rapp. Ripkoski allowed five earned runs, one walk and struck out four.