Texas signee Citlaly Gutierrez leads Stamford to state softball title
Playing on her future home field, Stamford's Citlaly Gutierrez fired 14 strikeouts in a complete game and crushed a home run to lead her team to a 5-4 win over Crawford in the Class 2A state championship game Wednesday at McCombs Field on the University of Texas campus.
The win in an error-plagued game gave Stamford (32-5) its first state title and prevented Crawford (32-7) from winning its second consecutive title.
“This was just an amazing night," said Gutierrez, a Texas signee who earned the game's most valuable player award. "Winning was what we all played for all year, this was our goal.”
Crawford used four Stamford errors to build a 4-1 lead over five innings after a 30-minute lightning delay, but the normally sure-gloved Pirates had a throwing error and dropped two pop fly balls by infielders to open the door to the opportunistic Bulldogs.
Stamford got four unearned runs of its own in the sixth inning. Savana Gonzales reached on an infield error, Baylee Strand beat out a deep ball to short, then Gutierrez bounced a ground ball off the glove of the Crawford third baseman that scored Gonzales.
Crawford starter Kenzie Jones, who struck out eight and allowed just one earned run, walked Shandlee Mueller to load the bases, and Strand came home on a wild pitch. Stamford leadoff hitter Laramie Terrell popped up with two outs, but Crawford dropped the ball to allow two runs as Stamford took a 5-4 lead.
The eight combined unearned runs set an unofficial UIl state championship game record.