Southwest secures outright 28-5A title; Holy Cross takes third in 3-4A Tourney
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TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southside, Southwest.
The clock is ticking, as the regular season enters its final 48 hours for Highlands and Jefferson.
Those three teams are the last that still have a chance to qualify for the postseason, but haven’t already. At least one of them will join current qualifiers Brackenridge, East Central, Edison, Holy Cross, McCollum and Southwest as teams that have extended their 2014 seasons.
In District 28-4A, either Highlands (8-12-1, 5-6) or Jefferson (9-11, 5-6) will advance as the fourth-place team. That may not be decided when they return to action Thursday, as their opponents Brackenridge (16-9-1, 8-3) and Edison (10-13, 8-3), respectively, will have something to say about that.
If both Highlands and Jefferson win, or if both lose, there will be a fourth-place tiebreaker to determine the spot. They split their two head-to-head games.
Jefferson moved up to fourth with an 18-5 win over Burbank (3-19-1, 0-11) Thursday at SAISD Field No.1. Meanwhile, on field No. 3, Highlands lost a non-district game 13-1 to Incarnate Word, which didn’t affect the standings.
The Owls have not qualified for the playoffs for about 10 years. Jefferson made the playoffs last year.
“We’re not going to give up,” Jefferson coach Jennifer Gomez said. “We want to make the playoffs again. We’re more determined than ever.
“That’s a big game Thursday. It’s a playoff game by stress, if not a playoff game.”
Brackenridge and Edison also split head-to-head, as a matter of fact. That’s signifcant because the Eagles and Golden Bears found themselves tied for second place in 28-4A after Tuesday’s games.
Edison lost 7-2 to district-champion Brennan (21-3, 12-0) at St. Mary’s University’s softball field. At SAISD Field No. 2, Brackenridge made short work of Lanier (5-17, 1-10), posting a 17-0 win in three innings.
So, four teams will play for play for 28-4A playoff positioning at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Highlands will face Brackenridge on Villarreal Field No. 1 while Jefferson and Edison square off on adjacent field No. 2.
To make things tougher on the prospective fourth-place finishers to make a successful upset bid, each is classified as a road team, so Edison and Brack will have the last at-bat.
“I’d like to get the win on Thursday,” Jefferson coach Jennifer Gomez said, “so we can get ready for our first playoff game.”
In District 28-5A, an area contender was mathematically eliminated Tuesday night.
South San (10-14-1, 2-7) is tied for fifth in 28-5A with Corpus Christi King (12-20, 2-7). Both are one game behind fourth-place Steele (15-12, 3-6).
Although each of the teams lost Tuesday, South San’s 4-2 loss to East Central (21-6, 6-3) was especially costly.
If the Bobcats are able to upset Corpus Christi Carroll (21-5, 6-3) at home Thursday and Steele loses to district-champion Southwest (25-7, 8-1), South San could finish in a tie for fourth place. However, Steele swept the Bobcats in two district games and would advance because it holds the tie-breaker advantage over South San.
Jefferson 18, Burbank 5
Becky Rodriguez led the Mustangs with a double, a triple and six RBIs Tuesday. Her bases-clearing triple in the seventh invoked the 10-run rule against the stubborn Bulldogs.
“It seemed like every time Becky came up, there was somebody on base,” Gomez said, “and she cleaned them off every time.”
Burbank scored three runs in the first inning, but Jefferson overtook the Bulldogs with six in the bottom of the inning. The Mustangs scored at least three runs in each inning.
The Bulldogs mustered nine hits, while Jefferson manufactured 11.
“They all, pretty much, hit,” Gomez said. “Everyone did their part. Amber Maldonado is such a good leadoff hitter. She does an outstanding job getting on base, and that starts everything for us.”
Southwest 11, Corpus Christi King 2
The Dragons wrapped up their fourth undisputed district championship in six years under Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez, to go with two shared titles.
Senior Kamerie Vidales was the winning pitcher as Southwest, No. 2 in the Express-News area rankings, celebrated Senior Night. A nine-run rally in the third inning undoubtedly helped make the atmosphere even more festive.
The Mustangs had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning. The Dragons, who produced 11 runs from eight hits, also scored twice in the sixth.
Holy Cross 6, Austin Hyde Park Baptist 2
The Knights (24-9-1) claimed the third seed in TAPPS District 3-4A with the tournament victory Tuesday at Holy Cross.
Holy Cross broke a scoreless tie in the third inning of the 3-4A Tournament third-place game and produced the game’s only extended rally in the fourth, scoring four runs. Hyde Park cut the lead to 5-1 in the fifth, but the Knights scored again in the bottom of the inning.
Senior Julia Ibarra was the winning pitcher. Both teams finished with 10 hits.
The TAPPS Tournament is scheduled to begin with the bi-district round April 29.
Medina Valley 2, McCollum 0 (8 innings)
Neither team scored until the district-champion Panthers (29-2, 13-0) manufactured two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday in Castroville.
The second-place Cowboys (15-6, 10-3) did not have a hit against Medina Valley ace Kylee DeCock.
Medina Valley is No. 1 in the Express-News area rankings.
Harlandale 16, Memorial 0 (4 innings)
Sabrina Esparza was the winning pitcher as Harlandale (11-15, 5-8) held Memorial (1-19, 0-13) to no hits Tuesday in its final game at the Frank Tejeda Complex this season.
Sophomore Breanna Heredia hit a home run for the Indians, who moved into fifth by virtue of the win.
East Central 4, South San 2
Hornets senior Taylor Doege helped limit the Bobcats to three hits and Haydi Bugarin hit her fourth home run of the season Tuesday at East Central. With the 28-5A win, the Hornets maintained a share of second place in the district.
East Central, No. 6 in the Express-News poll, scored all of its runs in the first five inings. South San scored twice in the sixth, but couldn’t seriously threaten the Hornets’ lead.
Bobcats freshman pitcher Alyssa Montes held East Central’s potent offense to just six hits.
Brackenridge 17, Lanier 0 (3 innings)
The Eagles rode a two-hit pitching performance from Alexis Berlanga and a 17-hit offensive attack to the 28-4A win on Villarreal Field No. 2.
Brackenridge scored three runs in the first inning, six in the second and eight in the third.
Kennedy 8, Southside 2
The Rockets (6-14, 4-9) scored the first three runs and never looked back Tuesday in a District 29-4A win over Southside (5-20, 2-11) at Tiger Field.
The Cardinals’ cut Kennedy’s lead to 3-1 in the top of the third inning and 4-2 in the fifth. The Rockets broke out with four runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
Alexis Ibarra hit a home run for the Rockets. Amy Cerda was the winning pitcher.