Navarro pitches better than any team in the conference by a sizable advantage.
But don't ever fall asleep on the Bulldogs' bats.
Navarro pounded out 34 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Northeast on Wednesday afternoon at Graham Field, rallying for a 9-8 victory in Game 2 of the twinbill after winning 12-2 in the opener.
The Bulldogs (36-13, 24-4) have won 13 of their last 15 games as they get geared up for the postseason. Navarro, which moved up to No. 11 in the NJCAA national rankings to lead all Texas teams, has already clinched the Region XIV East Conference title with two games left in the conference season.
The Bulldogs came into Friday's game hitting .299 as a team. Their well over .300 now.
"The last two weeks have been like that," Navarro coach Whoa Dill said. "We've been swinging the bats. We picked up those pitchers that didn't pitch well today."
Navarro needed all 20 hits it rapped out in the second game to complete the sweep. Trailing 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs produced a two-out rally. Mason Salazar had an infield single and scored on a double to left field by Drake Roberts to tie the game at 8-8. Roberts then stole third base, a crucial play as he scored the go-ahead run on an infield single by Tyler Wilson for a 9-8 lead.
Reliever J.D. Hammer shut down the Eagles' offense in the seventh and eighth innings, retiring all six batters he faced to get the victory. Blake Griffin worked around a hit batter in the top of the ninth for his 10th save.
Game 2 went back and forth. The Eagles led 5-0 after three innings. Navarro turned the game around with six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Bulldogs scored five runs with two outs. Roberts had an RBI double and John Clay Reeves followed with a two-run double to tie the game at 5-5. Wilson then completed a cycle for the day, ripping an RBI triple down the right-field line for a 6-5 lead.
Northeast tied the game in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Jason Freeman, but the Bulldogs answered that run on a single by catcher Drew Benefield in the bottom of the inning.
The Eagles took the lead back with a two-run sixth. Cutter Schaney had an RBI ground out and Wesley Hoover had a sacrifice fly to center field for an 8-7 lead.
Navarro used a big inning in Game 1 to put away the Eagles. The Bulldogs exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth as the first eight batters reached base. Kevin Meredith and Salazar started the inning by getting hit by Northeast starting pitcher Justin Schnedler. The Bulldogs then reeled off six straight hits.
Roberts started the hit parade with an RBI single to left for a 6-2 lead. Reeves followed with an RBI double and Byron Reichstein had a run-scoring single. Wilson, who homered in his previous at-bat, ripped an RBI double. Campbell Cooper had a two-run triple to center field and Jovan Hernandez a RBI single for a 12-2 lead.
Navarro starter Gage Curry started the game with three shutout innings, and the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead on Meredith's walk and stolen base and a two-out single to left by Reeves.
The Eagles took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning as first baseman Payton Allen had a sacrifice fly and Mason Mantle had a two-out RBI double.
Navarro took the lead back with a three-run fourth. Hernandez had an RBI single and Salazar walked with the bases loaded for a 4-2 lead. Wilson made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth with his third home run, a solo home run to left field.
Curry (7-2) dominated in the top of the sixth, striking out the side. He had nine strikeouts and allowed two runs on five hits.
The Bulldogs still have goals to play for before they go after their top ones of winning the regional title and their second national title in three years. They want 40 regular season wins and have five more games left to get there.
"We're trying to use that to keep them going," Dill said.
It's working so far.
Navarro pitches better than any team in the conference by a sizable advantage.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs sweep Bossier on Sophomore Day
From a one-sided laugher to a hold-your-breath finish, Navarro’s softball team celebrated Sophomore Day on Saturday in front of its largest crowd of the season.
The Bulldogs ripped Bossier 14-1 in a five-inning romp and then had to fight for their lives in the second game, finally winning 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a squeeze bunt that brought home Caitlin Moerbe, who ended the day with a dust-filled slide at the plate.
GC Softball: Hubbard, Curtis shut out Axtell 3-0
For Hubbard’s Olivia Curtis the magic number was 15 -- as in 15 wins and 15 strikeouts.
But don’t stop counting now. There’s plenty left for Curtis and her Hubbard teammates who have made the most of their stretch run in the district race, and capped off a huge week with a 3-0 win over Axtell on Friday.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Kerens' Anderson pitches perfect game (ADDS Dawson baseball)
Brett Anderson threw a five-inning perfect game Friday at home to lead Kerens over Neches 11-0 in a key district game that leaves the Bobcats in first place with a two-game lead.
CHS Baseball: Tigers lose to Nacogdoches 4-1
In a battle for first place in the District16-4A race, Nacogdoches and pitcher Brigham Hill stopped Corsicana’s Tigers 4-1 Friday to take over the lead in the district with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are now 5-2 and face Lindale, which is also 5-2, at Price Field on Tuesday night to try to gain ground in a tough district race.
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- Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris