Alice softball coach April Atterberry worried about the effects of a two-week layoff on her Lady Coyotes.
The downtime obviously sat well with the Alice girls. Junior Zalysa Perez threw a complete-game, three-hitter and even helped her cause with a game-changing three-run home run Friday night as the Lady Coyotes won Game 1 of their best-of-three bi-district playoff series against Mercedes. Alice defeated Mercedes, 16-2, in five innings.
The Class 4A playoff series moved to Alice for Game 2 at noon Saturday. For results of Saturdayís game, go to www.alicetx.com.
Perezís big hit came in the top of the third inning. Alice began the inning ahead, 2-1. They scored on a quick run when Daisy Martinez got on board and advanced home on a Mercedes throwing error. After Cayla Flores and Leandra Trigo got on base, Perez hit her home run. The three-run blast paved the way for a six-run Alice rally in the inning.
Mercedes responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, but it wasnít enough. Alice went on to score two more in the fourth and six in the fifth inning.
Pinch-hitter Tori Arellano hit a two-RBI double to fuel the fifth-inning rally.
Sophomore Lexie Villarreal had a strong night for Alice at the plate, going 4-for-5. Ashley Ramirez was 3-for-5 and Flores was 3-for-4. Perez finished the game, 2-for-4. Martinez had two RBIs in the game.
Perez allowed only one earned run while striking out eight through five innings.
Alice, who entered the postseason as District 31-4Aís third-place team, bettered its season record to 16-12-1. The Lady Coyotes hadnít played since ending the regular season last Monday with a win against Kingsville.