The Mustang Broncos moved one step closer to the Class 6A state tournament on Tuesday.
The Broncos cruised to a 6-1 regional semifinals win over Canadian County rival Yukon, fueled by nine hits and a solid performance by starting pitcher Landry Garza (Sr.).
Mustang scored one run in each of the first three innings before tacking on three more in the bottom of the fifth to seal the victory.
The Broncos finished with three extra-base hits, including a solo home run by outfielder Lexi Kierstead (Fr.) in the bottom of the second inning. The line-drive shot over the left field wall gave Mustang a 2-0 lead and swung every bit of momentum in the team’s favor.
After Yukon cut the lead to 2-1 on an RBI-groundout by pitcher Jaycee McKee in the top of the third, the Broncos extended the lead again in the bottom of the frame.
Catcher Logan Pickelsimer (Sr.), who went 2-for-3 with three RBI, roped a one-out double off the bottom of the left field wall, scoring second baseman Fae Cornish (Jr.) for a 3-1 advantage. Cornish led off the inning with a double to left field before moving into scoring position on a single by third baseman Eden Anderson (Jr.).
Mustang broke the game open in the fifth inning with four hits and a walk to make it 6-1.
Eden Anderson (left) and Landry Garza (right) get set for an inning in the field against the Yukon Millerettes on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, at Bronco Stadium in Mustang. The duo helped lead the Broncos to a 6-1 regional semifinals win. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Garza, who went 2-for-4, led off the frame with a single before a one-out knock by center fielder Arionna McElroy (Jr.). Pickelsimer extended the lead to 4-1 with a single to right field, scoring pinch runner Olivia See (Sr.), who hit the plate with a great slide to avoid the tag.
Three batters later, shortstop Reese Poage (Fr.) singled to left field, scoring McElroy and pinch runner Rylee Hannon (Jr.) for a 6-1 lead.
“We just had to stay focused and play our game with so much noise going on,” Garza said. The Mustang student section filled the bleachers and lined up outside the left field wall.
“It was amazing to have that much support and to have basically two student sections. Now we just have to stay locked in and finish it off tomorrow.”
Garza was a rock in the circle, allowing just one unearned run on six hits and one walk over seven innings. She struck out five batters and worked her way out of a critical bases loaded jam in the third.
“I just had to keep it simple and throw strikes,” she said.
With the victory, Mustang advances to the regional championship game – set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. against either the Millerettes or Lawton.