LEANDER — Monica Garza knows her team will improve. She just does not know how.
After sweeping its opening day at the Marble Falls tournament, which was relocated to Leander Glenn’s campus following heavy rains, Lampasas captured the championship Saturday by winning a pair of games by a combined score of 26-0.
On the heels of the impressive title run, the Lady Badgers catcher admitted it is hard to find faults after such a dominant showing.
“We’re feeling pretty confident in ourselves right now,” Garza said. “We lost some good players from last year, but we also brought a lot back, and I think we’re set for district.
“I don’t know how we get better, but we will as we work toward the playoffs.”
Lampasas appeared completely polished during the tournament, allowing only two runs in four games.
With the inclement weather altering the original schedule, the Lady Badgers began their title run with a 9-0 win against Marble Falls on Friday before defeating Fredericksburg 6-2.
The momentum carried over to Saturday as Lampasas cruised to a 14-0 victory against Johnson City LBJ thanks in part to a grand slam from right fielder Kyndal Moyer. It was one of 17 hits for the Lady Badgers during the run-rule win.
Then, in its finale against the host Lady Mustangs, Garza triggered another onslaught by sending a pitch over the left-field wall in the first inning, propelling Lampasas to a 12-0 victory in five innings.
“Once somebody gets a good hit,” Garza said, “it just sparks something in everybody else, which is really cool.
“It was like a chain reaction.”
Garza was 3 for 3 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles in the contest.
“She’s really come alive this year,” Lampasas head coach Drew Cleavinger said. “She’s been hitting the ball well, she’s playing well behind the plate, and overall, she has just matured a lot in her game.
“She’s a big part of this team, and she’s done a lot for us already.”
But Garza was not the only player to produce against Marble Falls.
Eight Lady Badgers recorded hits and seven crossed home plate in the game, including the tournament’s most valuable player Brooklyn Edgar (2 for 2, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) and teammates Natalie Denoso and Collyn Schuricht, who each went 1 for 2 with a pair runs scored.
Following Garza’s home run, Lampasas (4-1) added two runs in the second inning before exploding for a five-run third inning and four-run fourth inning.
Along with Schuricht and Garza, Sloane Johnson and Cally Reding also landed on the all-tournament team. Schuricht and Reding collected victories on the mound Saturday, allowing three and four hits, respectively.
“From our first through our ninth hitter,” Cleavinger said, “we’re just doing a great job of making contact, and we’re stringing hits together when we need to.”
While the season is still in its infancy, District 19-4A competition is rapidly approaching with the opener set for March 6 against Taylor.
“I think we’re in a good spot right now both mentally and physically,” Cleavinger said. “Due to game cancellations from the weather and some injuries, this was the first time we were able to all be together this season, so we are at a high.
“But tournaments are exhausting, so I’m looking forward to getting a little break, because district is coming quick.”