THIS STORY CONTAINS INFO ABOUT: East Central, Southwest, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Jefferson and Southside (in order)
FOR A FULL STORY ON HARLANDALE VS. McCOLLUM baseball (April 4, 2013 @ Frank Tejeda Complex), click on this link:
FOR INFO ABOUT: Harlandale, Brackenridge and Southside, click on this link:
Most senior groups want to leave their mark. East Central’s want to lift the program up in the process, as the team t-shirt indicates. On the back side, it reads “Take a stand. Leave a legacy.”
“The seniors are proud of our success. Most of us have been on varsity all four years,” East Central senior center fielder Kristen Wiatrek said. “It was our idea to put that slogan on the t-shirts. This is our last chance to make our mark on our team.”
Last Saturday at Southwest, East Central (17-10, 5-2) was covered in prestige. The Hornets defeated the Dragons (26-5, 5-2) for the second time this season after recording a 5-2 victory and becoming just the third road team in 20 games to win at Southwest.
The Hornets’ win tied East Central and Southwest, No. 3 in the Express-News area rankings, for first place in District 28-5A.
“We lost to (South San last week) and that was a big blow,” said Wiatrek, who ranks No. 1 in East Central’s senior class and is the likely valedictorian, according to Waller. “We practiced at 100 percent this week. Every practice and every game, we came amped. We were so ready for this game.”
East Central put pressure on Southwest from the outset, scoring two runs in the first inning before the Dragons had a chance to bat. Sophomore Haydi Bugarin and junior Taylor Doege drew walks to spark the rally. Bugarin scored on a passed ball. Winning pitcher Madison Strunk drove in Doege with a single.
“Our seniors came up with a couple of big hits,” East Central coach Bryan Waller said. “Last year, we had trouble coming up with the big hits when we needed them. This year, we’ve gotten the big ones..”
Southwest scored in the second when junior first baseman-pitcher Kamarie Vidales leadoff with a walk, stole second base and took third on a passed ball. Starting pitcher Caitlin Terrazas reduced the Dragons’ deficit to 2-1.
The Dragons didn’t score again until the fifth against Strunk. The sophomore limited Southwest’s explosive batting order to four hits while walking three and striking out five. Most importantly, the Dragons’ biggest bats were largely silent against her.
Vidales, senior Miranda Medina and junior Elizabeth Phillips were a combined 1-for-8.
“Madison kept them off-balance,” Waller said. “We had a game plan and she did an excellent job of executing that game plan. You’re not going to get a lot of strikeouts against them, but I thought we played phenomenal defense.”
A running catch by Phillips in the left-center field gap left the bases loaded for East Central in the third, but the Hornets broke through with three runs in the fourth.
With one out, Stacia Lamey reached base with a walk and Wiatrek dribbled a slap hit through the infield, up the middle. Bugarin followed with a drive over the left-fielder’s head for a 4-1 advantage. With Doege up, Bugarin scored on a 2-1 wild pitch and the Hornets had a three-run advantage.
“We were sure they’d come out wanting revenge,” Wiatrek said. “We’d never beaten them during my time on varsity until two weeks ago. They’re a really good team, and we knew we had to come out ready. They took advantage of our mistakes, and we took advantage of theirs.”
Leading off the sixth, Krystal Salinas’ single got by the right fielder for a two-base error. Medina hit a comebacker to the mound to score Salinas from third base. Southwest trailed 5-2 after six innings.
“We only had four hits versus the 10, 11 or 12 we normally get,” Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez said. “We usually score a lot more runs. Maybe we wanted it too much.”
Vidales kept East Central scoreless over the last 3 2/3 innings as a relief pitcher.
In the seventh, the Dragons had the kindling for a two-out rally. Destinee Gonzalez worked a 3-2 walk and advanced on a wild pitch and a gutsy stolen base. However, Strunk ended the game with a strikeout on a full-count pitch.
“Maybe one more hit or one less walk or error would have made a difference,” Hernandez said. “But it is what it is.”
Strunk pitched the Hornets to a 5-1 win over Corpus Christi Carroll (13-18, 2-5) last Friday at East Central, allowing just four hits. Strunk and Chelsea Taylor, playing her first varsity game, each hit home runs. Strunk’s was her fourth of the season.
“We had good pitching and good defense,” Waller said. “We played well in every aspect of the game. This was two games without an error..”
The two wins give East Cenral a tiebreaker advantage if it comes into play in determining 28-5A playoff spots.
“It’s very big to have that,” Waller said. “I hope not to have it come down to that, but it’s good to have.”
Southwest blasted South San (9-16-1, 1-6) 14-1 last Friday at the Bobcats’ field. Vidales pitched a three-hitter and went three-for-three at the plate, including a home run to left field in the third inning.
The Dragons took the lead with four runs in the first inning. Salinas, Medina and Vidales reached base on two walks and a hit batsman. Yanica Fernandez followed with a single that started the offense rolling.
“Looking on the bright side of this game,” Hernandez said, “we’ve got plenty of games ahead of us. We learn from every one of these games. If we make a mistake, hopefully, we don’t make it again.
“Everybody gets each other in our district. East Central has gotten two on us now. South San beat them. King beat Steele. It’s going to be tough to figure out first, second and third. We’re not going to know until the last game of district is over.”
On Medina Valley’s two home runs in a 6-2 win over Harlandale last Friday at the Frank Tejeda Complex.
“They have three or four girls who can hit the ball out of the park,” Harlandale coach Jennifer Bocanegra said. “That’s what they did. Those two two-run home runs were big for them. One (Muennink’s) was on a changeup, and she just hit it right. With Parrish, we tried to keep it away from her.
“I have to give respect to Medina Valley. They’re a really good hitting team. They have been for years.”
Medina Valley finished with six hits while Harlandale mustered four against winning pitcher Tina Lopez. Senior Stephanie Lopez pitched for the Indians.
“Our girls battled,” Bocanegra said. “They’ve been hitting the ball really well. They’ve been very, very patient. It’s just that too many balls got up in the air or were hit right at someone. We only had three strikeouts the whole game.”
Harlandale scored both of its runs in the second inning. Jackie Espinoza delivered a leadoff single. Sisters Brittany and Brianna Gonzalez followed with run-scoring doubles.
“Our seniors have done a really good job of leading the program,” Bocanegra said. “They’ve kept us on our toes and not let us get caught off-balance. Now we’ ve got to win out (to make the playoffs).”
The Knights (19-12-2, 4-2) won two of three games in a busy five-day span last week.
Holy Cross began the week with a 3-1 loss at Victoria St. Joseph April 2 in a TAPPS District 3-4A game, although Knights pitcher Julia Ibarra held the host team to four hits. Holy Cross then defeated St.. Anthony 10-0 last Thursday in a non-district game and San Antonio Christian 10-0 last Saturday in a TAPPS 3-4A contest. Both games were played at Holy Cross.
The Knights had five hits against Victoria St. Joseph.
Against St. Anthony, the Yellowjackets (8-9) rolled to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings. Holy Cross was able to tie it in the bottom of the second and never stopped scoring. Knights pitcher Marisa Hernandez limited St. Anthony to five hits.
Hernandez pitched a two-hit shutout against San Antonio Christian. Holy Cross manufactured 11 hits in the win. The Knights scored in each of the game’s five innings, including a four-run rally in the fourth.
The Mustangs (12-13-1, 6-3) moved into third place in District 28-4A with a 10-0 win over Highlands (7-16, 2-6) last Friday at Mary Ann Villarreal Complex Field No. 3. Further details about the game were unavailable at presstime.
The sixth-place Cardinals (12-15, 4-6) stayed in the hunt for the final playoff spot in District 29-4A with a 21-13 win over Memorial (3-19, 0-10) last Friday at Tiger Field.
Southside (12-15, 4-6) amassed 12 hits in a 21-13 win over Memorial (3-19, 0-10) last Friday at Tiger Field, while the Minutemen had seven. Already holding a 1-0 lead, the Cardinals erupted for 11 runs in the second. They added five runs in the third, but Memorial escaped the 10-run rule with a four-run rally in its half of the second and a three-run output in the third. D’Anna Trevino was the winning pitcher for Southside.