Lady Steers top Sweetwater in district opener

SWEETWATER — The Big Spring Lady Steers opened District 5-3A softball play with a bang Friday, defeating the Sweetwater Lady Mustangs 11-6 at the Jerry Collins Softball Complex. A pair of home runs, a slew of stolen bases and a strong defense all contributed to a solid district win.The Lady Steers (10-10) started strong, scoring five runs in the top of the first.Ambra Hill led off with a single, then stole second and third bases, allowing Valerie Goodblanket to drive her home with an RBI double. Haley Dimidjian then reached second base, scoring Goodblanket on a fielder's choice. BSHS pitcher Tiffany Gonzales also hit a double, scoring Dimidjian, and Mercedes Ruiz's groundout drove home Gonzales to make the score 4-0. Angelina Castillo then closed out the Lady Steers' inning with a solo home run.Sweetwater answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning, but Big Spring answered with a run of its own in the second inning on Dimidjian's RBI single.Sweetwater whittled Big Spring's lead down to three runs before the Lady Steers' attack cranked up again in the top of the fifth. Dimidjian singled, Gonzales laid down a sacrifice bunt, and a throwing error by Sweetwater led to another run, making it a 7-3 ball game.Big Spring then tacked on two more runs in the sixth when Ambra Hill belted a two-run homer — her second in as many games — to make the score 9-4.Starter Gonzales went 5 2/3 innings, striking out one and walking one. Ruiz came on in relief in the sixth inning and struck out one in her 1 1/3 innings of work..BSHS Coach John Sparks liked what he saw in the district opener.“We were able to get started early, and we continued through the whole game,” he said. “Ayanna Gomez was a busy woman in left field, and really stepped up to the challenge. Ambra Hill had another homer, I am happy for her, and Angelina (Castillo) can hit the ball hard when she makes contact.”Playing consistent ball, according to Sparks, will be the key to making a serious run in District 5-3A.“We just have to be prepared every game,” Sparks said. “We gotta know we can do our jobs when we need to, and I think we can be right there at the top of the district.”The Lady Steers' next challenge will come on the road against Snyder Tuesday at 6:30p.m.