Dear’s all-around play paces SPX softball in strong week

St. Pius softball pitcher. (Photo by Wayne Donnelly)

The St. Pius X High School softball team got off to a strong start in district play last week, due in large part to a complete performance from one of its brightest stars.

Senior Emily Dear, a University of Texas at San Antonio commitment, was a force both at the plate and in the pitching circle as the Lady Panthers won three district games en route to a 4-1 week.

Dear batted .722 (13 for 18) with 13 RBIs last week, including a four-hit, five-RBI performance in a 20-12 win over Houston Christian on March 24. She also had three hits and four RBIs in an 18-0 victory over Beaumont Kelly on March 29, raising her average to .700 on the season with 29 RBIs.

But she wasn’t done. Dear also had three pitching wins while allowing just four hits in 15 innings of work, including a five-inning perfect game against Beaumont Kelly. She has struck out 78 hitters so far this season in 67.2 innings, and opponents are batting .148 against her.

Sophomore Victoria Hunter also had a strong week for the Lady Panthers (11-9), going 13 for 17 in five games while homering three times and driving in 14 runs. Hunter is hitting .673 with a team-leading 38 RBIs on the season.

The Lutheran High North Lady Lions, meanwhile, began their season with a 13-6 win over Covenant Christian on March 26.

Waltrip’s Lady Rams had a perfect week as well, with a 16-3 win over Austin on March 24 and an 11-4 victory against Northside on March 27.

The Heights Lady Bulldogs dropped an 8-0 decision to Bellaire on March 26 before beating Westside 10-2 on Tuesday, improving to 10-4 overall and 7-1 in District 18-6A competition. Leticia Flores, Alexandra Hill, Sarah Peyrani and Kennedy Hill had two RBIs apiece against Westside.

Baseball

St. Thomas was strong again last week with a pair of run-rule victories, dropping Beaumont Kelly 11-0 in five innings on March 25 before taking down rival St. Pius X 12-1 in five innings on March 27. Grant Springer, Eddie Villegas and Sam Mahlberg each had two RBIs against SPX, while Braydan Salinas and Adam Desroches had three RBIs apiece as the Eagles are 12-7-1 on the season.

SPX didn’t have much success before the aforementioned loss to St. Thomas, as the Panthers also lost to Concordia Lutheran on March 23 and March 25. However, SPX (11-8) did rebound with a 5-3 win over the Eagles in Tuesday's rematch.

Lutheran High North dropped two games against Tomball Rosehill Christian by scores of 13-0 and 20-1 last week, falling to 2-2 on the season.

In Houston ISD action, Scarborough bounced back from an 18-0 loss to Mickey Leland College Prep on March 24 by defeating the Knights 8-0 in a March 27 rematch. The Spartans were 6-7 overall and 5-1 in District 23-4A entering Wednesday night’s game against North Forest.

Heights also went undefeated last week, beating Carnegie twice by identical 16-0 scores on March 23 and March 26. The Bulldogs have won five consecutive games.

The Booker T. Washington Eagles split a pair of games last week, taking down Yates 13-9 on March 24 before falling 15-0 in a March 27 rematch, leading the Eagles with a 1-4 record.

Waltrip lost 5-2 to Manvel in its only game last week, dropping to 6-6-2 overall.

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