BASEBALL: This week’s results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of April 18-May 1

Monday’s games

District 28-5A
Eagle Pass Winn 24, Southside 0 (5 innings) (rescheduled from Friday)

Tuesday’s games

District 27-6A
East Central 7, Clemens 3
South San 10, New Braunfels 4
Smithson Valley 9, Steele 5
Judson 3, Wagner 1
District 27-5A
Burbank 10, Sam Houston 0 (6 innings)
Kennedy 6, Jefferson 3
Edison 8, Highlands 7
Memorial 5, Lanier 1

Central Catholic 11, San Antonio Christian 3 (rescheduled from Friday)

Wednesday’s games

No games scheduled

Thursday’s games

No games scheduled

Friday’s games

District 27-6A
East Central, 2, Clemens 0 (suspended, 2 outs, bottom 3rd; rescheduled for Monday)
Judson 6, Wagner 1 (suspended, 2 outs, bottom 3rd; no reschedule date)
Smithson Valley at Steele (ppd., rescheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Wimberley)
South San at New Braunfels (suspended, rescheduled for Monday)
District 27-5A
Brackenridge vs. Highlands (ppd., rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday at Diz Reeves Diamond)
Kennedy vs. Memorial (score unavailable)
Lanier vs. Burbank (ppd., rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday at Reeves Field No. 2)
Jefferson 2, Edison 0

Saturday’s games

District 27-6A
Smithson Valley 11, Steele 0 (5 innings) (rescheduled from Friday)

Monday, May 1 games

District 27-6A
New Braunfels 5, South San 1 (completion of game suspended Friday)
East Central 6, Clemens 0 (completion of game suspended Friday with East Central leading 2-0 in bottom 3rd)
District 27-5A

Brackenridge 9, Highlands 1 (rescheduled from Friday)
Burbank 5, Lanier 0 (completion of game suspended Friday)

Kennedy 15, Memorial 1 (5 innings) (rescheduled from Friday)

SOFTBALL: Cowboys push bi-district series to three games

Victoria East records back-to-back wins over McCollum

To win a playoff softball series, more than raw ability is required. Teams generally also have to keep a competitive edge for the two or three games it takes to accomplish the task.

District 29-4A runner-up McCollum (17-8) picked up valuable experience last weekend in three Class 4A bi-district games against Victoria East (19-13-2) at Seguin. The Cowboys showed their mettle in winning the first game 8-1 on Friday. The Titans won the series with 6-4 and 2-0 victories on Saturday.

“That was killer,” McCollum coach Larissa Cover said. “For the freshmen, sophomores and juniors, I told them to remember that feeling. That’s what has to motivate them for the offseason and summer.”

The Cowboys won for the fourth time in five games when they defeated the Titans in the series opener. McCollum junior pitcher Kim Abundis held Victoria East to two hits while walking one and striking out seven.

“As far as our season was concerned,” Cover said, “the 8-1 win on Friday pretty much showed we were prepared. We came out on fire.”

East scored an unearned run in the first inning. McCollum tied it in the second on an RBI single from Savannah Borjas (3-for-4, RBI). The Cowboys took the lead on Lauren Martinez’s sacrifice fly in the third.

A single from Abundis (2-for-3, RBI) increased McCollum’s lead to 3-1 in the fourth. Amanda Huron (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) collected an RBI on a sixth inning double.

“Abundis was on fire,” Cover said. “That was probably the best ball we played on the field. Throughout the season, we’ve been really consistent about being together on the field. I really like the way we were able to come together.”

In the seventh, the Cowboys kicked it into high gear with a four-run rally.

Martinez (2-for-2) drove in another run, this time with a base hit. Erica Martinez scored on the play. Huron added a two-run double. The Cowboys’ final run scored on a ground out.

McCollum finished with 11 hits.

“I was very proud of them,” Cover said. “Saturday, we just couldn’t get the bat on the ball. We pitched very well, but it’s not all about pitching. Our defense also was excellent both days.”

McCollum led 3-1 in the second inning of Game 2, following an RBI double from Kim Casias (2-for-4, 3 RBIs). The Titans scored five runs over the next two innings.

An RBI double from Lauren Martinez in the sixth brought the Cowboys within 5-2. Casias produced the final score by blasting a two-run home run in the seventh.

“I thought that might have given us some momentum going into the third game,” Cover said. “For Kim, I’m very proud that she stepped up and had a big game. She also played awesome defense. She really lifted us up a lot.”

McCollum freshman Amber Saucedo pitched the final game of the series, allowing just two hits. The Cowboys mustered four hits against East pitcher Alisha Quinterro, but made two errors while East had none.

The Titans scored runs in the third and seventh innings.

“Amber kept us in the ballgame,” Cover said. “All game, she competed on a high level. That’s what we wanted from her.”

The Cowboys didn’t make playoffs last year, so the series was a new experience for several Cowboys.

“This is a very young group,” Cover said. “We have three freshmen who, before Saturday, were only used to playing district games. We were trying to get them to comprehend that they needed to be at that same level for every game, like the juniors and seniors.”

McCollum had a strong finish to the season. It defeated Uvalde 8-3 April 11 at the Frank Tejeda Complex, a win that helped assure the Cowboys of second place.

“We knew what was on the line,” Cover said. “We wanted to clinch second, so we needed that win. Kim Abundis was on fire. Val Lopez and Brianna Kinnard hit home runs. That was big for two freshmen. We needed them to step up and they did.”

On April 15, the Cowboys traveled to Medina Valley and gave the Panthers (14-0 in district) their toughest battle of the 29-4A season. Both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning when the host team scored both of its runs for a 2-0 victory.

Panthers pitcher Kylee DeCock pitched a no-hitter, yet the Cowboys were able to force extra innings. Medina Valley was ranked No. 1 in the final Express-News area rankings.

“That was one of our high points,” Cover said. “That was a big game. We did something that not many teams in the city were able to do. Medina Valley was the No. 1 team in the city and we kept them scoreless for seven innings. Hats off to my team for that.”

McCollum only had two seniors on its roster, starting catcher Huron and Kim Puente.

“Amanda was really lights out this year,” Cover said. “It was her best-ever hitting year. I was very proud of Amanda’s hitting.”

With the vast majority of the team returning and bringing back newly gained playoff experience, the Cowboys are looking forward to the 2015 season.

“It’s promising,” Cover said. “Let’s focus on the positives. Last year, we didn’t make the playoffs, but we came back strong. I think we have a foundation to build on for next year. It’s a great start, not just to make the playoffs, but to be competitive. Hopefully, next year we can go two rounds deep or three rounds deep.”

SOFTBALL: Holy Cross holds on to surpass area round


Knights set up rematch Monday with Victoria St. Joseph

Knights senior pitcher Julia Ibarra beats the throw and arrives safely at second base.
Knights senior pitcher Julia Ibarra held Houston Lutheran South to five hits.

Holy Cross’ area-round win at Houston Lutheran South wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it accomplished the mission.

The Knights (15-11) advanced to the state quarterfinals for the second-consecutive season with a victory over the Pioneers Saturday. Holy Cross scored four runs in the first four innings to win the TAPPS Class 4A playoff game.

“We put the ball in play,” Holy Cross coach Angel Cedillo said, referring to his team’s 13-hit attack. “We just didn’t capitalize enough. But the girls played well enough. They defended very well. We did what we had to do to get through to College Station.”

Holy Cross broke the ice in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead. The Knights scored two runs in the third and another in the fourth.

Juniors Kennedy Rivera and Marisol Ortega led Holy Cross’ offense.

“We had timely hitting,” Cedillo said. “Kennedy had a couple of doubles. She hit the ball really well. Marisol got on base a couple of times and scored two of our runs. I think Kennedy and Marisol were the standouts, offensively.”

Trailing 4-0, Lutheran South scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth. The Pioneers scored two more runs in the fifth before Holy Cross senior pitcher Julia Ibarra shut them down again.

Ibarra limited Lutheran South to five hits.

“I was really proud of their poise,” Cedillo said. “They showed a lot of moxie.”

Holy Cross is tentatively scheduled to play district rival Victoria St. Joseph (18-12) 4 p.m. Monday at Texas A&M University. St. Joseph is the TAPPS 3-4A champion. The Knights finished third.

In their regular-season meeting, the Flyers prevailed 4-3 March 29 at Holy Cross.

“They’ve been the team to beat for a few years,” Cedillo said. “They have good pitching, they play good defense and they put the ball in play. We’ve been close to them a few times, but we’re excited for the opportunity to play them on a neutral site.”

The winner will play the Corpus Christi Incarnate Word-Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian winner in the semifinals.


SOFTBALL: Brackenridge vs. Boerne Champion bi-district photo gallery, April 24, 2014 (Photos by KJ Toso)


Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Bi-district playoff, Game 1 at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1

Brackenridge shortstop Miranda Sandoval makes a play on a Boerne Champion runner.
Brackenridge shortstop Miranda Sandoval makes a play on a Boerne Champion runner.

Brackenridge senior Ana DeLeon, throwing from right field, drove in a run in Game 1 against Boerne Champion.
Brackenridge senior Ana DeLeon, throwing from right field, drove in a run in Game 1 against Boerne Champion.

Brackenridge left fielder Josette Garcia made an outstanding running catch to end the third inning against Champion.
Brackenridge left fielder Josette Garcia made an outstanding running catch to end the third inning against Champion.

Junior Alexis Berlanga pitched both games against Boerne Champion for Brackenridge.
Junior Alexis Berlanga pitched both games against Boerne Champion for Brackenridge.


BASEBALL: South San makes most of second qualifying chance

Bobcats win tie-breaker, make third-straight playoff trip

Isaac Lugo pitched the seventh inning in South San's 13-7 win over Steele, which earned the Bobcats their third-consecutive playoff berth.
Isaac Lugo pitched the seventh inning in South San’s 13-7 win over Steele, which earned the Bobcats their third-consecutive playoff berth.

South San picked the perfect time to end its swoon.

The Bobcats (14-13, 3-7) lost their last six District 28-5A games, landing them in a fourth-place tie with Steele (13-15, 3-7). However, South San reversed the skid with a decisive 13-7 victory over the Knights in the tie-breaker game Saturday afternoon at SAISD Field No. 1 and extended their streak of consecutive playoff appearances to three.

“We just keep fighting,” South San senior catcher Adrian Gallegos said. “The past three years, we’ve made the playoffs, and it’s been good. We wanted to take it to them. We’re seniors now and we want to go out on top.”

Gallegos was a freshman in 2011, the last time the Bobcats failed to make the playoffs. They also finished with a 3-7 district record that season.

This year, three of South San’s last five losses were by five runs or fewer, including a 5-0 loss at home to undefeated district champion Corpus Christi Carroll (27-3, 10-0) Friday that forced the tie-breaker.

“We’ve been our worst enemy,” South San coach Robert Zamora said. “but we got a second chance.”

South San wasted no time in taking advantage of the opportunity.

The Bobcats manufactured a five-run rally in their half of the first, after falling behind 1-0 when Steele’s P.J. Sanchez doubled and Josh Haese followed with a run-scoring single. South San drew five walks from the first of the three pitchers the Knights employed, helping to fuel the outburst.

South San senior pitcher John Gamez (1-for-3, RBI) got things started with a base on balls. Daniel Delgado was safe on a fielder’s choice, bringing up Gallegos (2-for-4, 2 RBIs). The fourth-year varsity player drove in the tying run with double to the right-center field gap. Delgado also scored on the play when the ball was misplayed for the first of Steele’s six errors.

After a walk to Frank Bosmans, Nick Herrera drove an RBI single. Herrera scored the fourth run on a wild pitch. Isaac Lugo reached base on a fielder’s choice, ahead of three walks, and scored on a throwing error for a 5-1 lead.
“We knew we were a winning team,” Gamez said. “We were going to play as hard as we could. Fortunately, we got a big lead. Then all I had to do was throw strikes.”

The Knights didn’t score again against Gamez until the fifth inning.

“I just tried to go hard at them and get outs,” he said.

In the South San fourth, designated hitter Joe Miera (2-for-3, 3 RBIs) delivered a two-run single with two outs. The hit prompted Steele’s second pitching change, but didn’t stop the Bobcats. Herrera scored on a suicide-squeeze bunt from Rafael Lopez that increased South San’s lead to 8-1 at the end of four innings.

From that point, though, South San wasn’t able to coast.

With one out in the fifth, the Knights worked two consecutive walks. Tyler Petoskey hit a chopper that got through the infield and Steele was within six.

“Those walks have a way of coming back to bite you,” Zamora lamented. “They scored their first urn after a walk. With any walks we give up, it’s almost been a 100-percent chance that they score. There has been no eight or nine out of 10, or even 50-50.”

Steele drew two more walks to lead off the sixth, igniting a four-run rally.

Corey Killen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in the first run. With bases still full, Jake Webb gave the Knights an easy run with a walk. Steele pulled within 8-6 on a two-run single from Petoskey.
Webb scored on a bases-loaded walk again in the seventh, but the outcome already had been decided.

“We took advantage of their mistakes early, but they fought back,” Zamora said. “Finally, we got a comebacker and were able to get out of that inning.”

The Bobcats pulled their bacon out of the fire in the bottom of the sixth, manufacturing a five-run rally that started with a hit batsman from Herrera.

Miera and Gamez contributed RBI singles. With two outs, Gallegos drew a bases-loaded walk that forced in a run and the Bobcats scored on an error that made it 13-6.

“It was a great win at a great time,” Gallegos said. “It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but the playoffs are another chance to win.”

Despite the bumpy finish, South San responded when Steele posed a threat.

“I’m very proud of the boys on this team,” Zamora said. “We could have, very easily, just folded and not showed pride in (this) game. But we had a lot of pride and a lot of heart, in playing the way we did. I was just so happy for the team, rebounding the way we did.”

The Bobcats will play District 27-5A champion O’Connor (28-1) in a three-game bi-district series. Games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Northside Field No. 2, 7 p.m. Friday at South San and 2 p.m. Saturday (if necessary) at South San.

“That’s what everyone shoots for,” Zamora said of the postseason appearance. “We’ve got a ticket to the dance. Whatever happens, happens. I want to make sure we have a chance (to win).”

South San will have a reunion O’Connor, No. 1 in the Express-News area rankings. The teams met in the area round last year, with the Panthers winning 1-0 in a one-game showdown.

“We’ll compete with everything we have against them,” Gamez said. “We don’t care who we play. We’ll do our part and compete.”

SOFTBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Southwest hammers Brandeis in series sweep

Edison battles Lockhart to end in Game 2



Junior Alexis Berlanga pitched both games against Boerne Champion for Brackenridge.
Junior Alexis Berlanga pitched both games against Boerne Champion for Brackenridge.

Southwest senior Kamerie Vidales hit a grand slam in Game 2 against Brandeis.
Southwest senior Kamerie Vidales hit a grand slam in Game 2 against Brandeis.

Brackenridge senior Ana DeLeon, throwing from right field, drove in a run in Game 1 against Boerne Champion.
Brackenridge senior Ana DeLeon, throwing from right field, drove in a run in Game 1 against Boerne Champion.

TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Edison, Jefferson, Southwest.

Southwest (27-8) hit five home runs in the two-game sweep of Brandeis (13-15). Interestingly, The Dragons also swept the Broncos last year in the Class 5A bi-district round.

Southwest’s Kayla Arguello, Krystal Salinas and winning pitcher Cailtin Terrzas all hit home runs in Friday’s game at SAISD Field No. 1 as the Dragons prevailed 15-2. Seniors Liz Phillips and Kamerie Vidales each hit homers Saturday, fueling a 12-6 victory, as the series shifted to Southwest.

Phillips hit a two-run homer early in the game and Vidales supplied a grand slam in the fifth, when Southwest’s lead had shrunk to 7-5. The Dragons amassed 17 hits.

In Friday’s game, Southwest scored four runs in the second inning and eight in the third for a 12-1 lead. Terrazas limited Brandeis to six hits while the Dragons thumped 14.

“We came out with our bats ready,” Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez said after Friday’s win. “Especially with CT pitching, it was nice to get her so many runs.”

The eight-run explosion in the third inning featured a three-run homer from Arguello and a two-run shot from Terrazas.

“It was just being prepared and waiting for their pitch,” Hernandez said. “I told them, ‘We have to wait for

her to make a mistake, instead of chasing her junk (pitches). We definitely were patient at the plate and

(strong) to the ball.”

Salinas delivered a two-run blast during the second-inning rally.

Southwest will play Judson in the area round. Games are 7 p.m. Thursday at Northeast ISD Field, 7 p.m. Friday at Villarreal Field No. 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Northside ISD Complex.

Lockhart 12-14, Edison 1-11

The Mustangs (17-6) had to fight to hold off District 28-4A No. 3 seed Edison (10-17) in Game 2 Saturday after walloping the Golden Bears in the series opener Friday. Both games were played at the Northeast ISD Complex.

Edison established a 5-0 lead by the second inning of Game 2. Lockhart wasn’t able to overtake the Golden Bears until the top of the fifth, when it produced the second of two consecutive three-run innings.

The Golden Bears regained the lead with three runs in the top of the eighth, but it was short-lived. The Lions struck for eight in their half of the inning. Edison was able to score three runs in the seventh, but couldn’t extend the series.

Edison manufactured 19 hits in the second game, including a home run from Isabel Lopez. The Lions had 1 hits.

In Game 1, Lions pitcher Gabby Ybarra held Edison to two hits. Lockhart scored 12 runs on just seven hits against Golden Bears ace Celeste Vela. The Lions scored all of their runs in the first three innings, including six in the second.

Cheyenne Martin hit a home run for District 27-4A runner-up Lockhart.

Boerne Champion 8, Brackenridge 3

The Chargers (15-11) completed a series sweep in its best-of-three set Brackenridge (17-10-1) Friday at Champion.

Brackenridge took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Allie Castillo drew a walk. Jacklynn Nevarez (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) and Lexus Lozano (2-for-4, RBI) crunched back-to-back RBI doubles.

The Chargers cut the lead in half in the first inning and tied it in the second. Eagles pitcher Alexis Berlanga kept Champion scoreless in the third, but it pounced on its scoring opportunities in the fourth for a 6-2 lead.

The Eagles added a run in the seventh for the final score. Miranda Sandoval reached on fielder’s choice. Castillo chipped in with an infield single. Following a double steal,
Nevarez drove in the run with a sacrifice fly.

Brackenridge individual statistics were not available. Champion finished with 10 hits. The Eagles had six.

Champion had defeated the Eagles 6-2 Thursday in the series opener at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1. That victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Chargers.

Hays 14, Jefferson 3

The District 27-4A champion Rebels (21-3) blanked 28-4A fourth-place finisher Jefferson (10-12) in a one-game playoff Friday at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1.

Hays scored in each inning beginning with four runs in the first. The Rebels finished with 14 hits, while Hays pitcher Sarah Leal limited the Mustangs to three.

BASEBALL: Bulldogs’ offense awakens during crunch time

Burbank and Arturo Martinez defeated Lanier in a game to decide fourth place in District 28-4A.
Burbank’s Arturo Martinez drove in two runs as the Bulldogs defeated Lanier in a game to decide fourth place in District 28-4A.

Burbank defeats Lanier in do-or-die game, earns fifth-straight playoff trip




Count flexibility among Burbank coach Romeo Barrera’s traits.

Burbank’s athletic coordinator conveyed to the veteran coach that a parent had told him Barrera was being too conservative. Barrera took the constructive criticism, talked it over with his staff and a more aggressive offensive team was born.

The Bulldogs (8-16-1, 5-7), who scored 29 runs in their last three District 28-4A games, defeated Lanier (7-15, 4-8) 11-7 in a winner-take-all game last Thursday at SAISD Field No. 2. Burbank claimed fourth place with the win, while the Voks fell into a fifth-place tie with with Edison (4-17, 4-8).

A suggestion from Burbank assistant coach Joe Sanchez earlier in the year that the players needed to see more live pitching and spend less time hitting off the pitching machine may have planted the seed.

“I could see that we needed to be more aggressive,” Barrera said. “We started to bunt more to get runners over, y’know, doing a safety squeeze when it was called for. That kind of pushed some buttons in me.

“Every group of kids is different. Something that works with one group of kids may not work with another. Sometimes you have to step outside yourself, and see yourself as others see you.”

The win had an added bonus for Burbank. The Bulldogs tied Highlands (10-13, 5-7) for third place in the district, although the Owls will claim the district’s No. 3 seed because of two head-to-head wins over the Bulldogs.

Lanier finished the 2013 season by losing a fourth-place tie-breaker to Highlands. The Voks have narrowly missed the playoffs in four of the last five years.

“It was the same opportunity as last year,” Lanier coach Carlos Sanchez said. “Like I told the kids, no one else has this opportunity.

“They were ready. We had really good practices three days in a row. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Burbank hit the ball more than we hit and they were victorious.”

Two weeks ago, after back-to-back losses to District 28-4A champion Brennan and runner-up Brackenridge, it appeared Burbank’s streak of playoff appearance was in jeopardy. All it took was three-straight wins to for the Bulldogs to garner a hard-earned fifth playoff trip in a row.

Barrera put a countdown on the chalkboard in Burbank’s locker room to remind the Bulldogs players of the task at hand.

“We put it up there, ‘How do you want to be remembered?,’ ” Barrera said, “2001 was the last time Burbank didn’t make the playoffs on the field. Especially for the seniors, we knew they didn’t want to be the first ones (since) not to make the playoffs. Those seniors stepped up.

“It was really good to see them achieve their goals. I’m really excited for them. I’ve never seen them so happy. They gave the extra effort.”

The outcome of Thursday’s game was in doubt heading into the seventh inning. The young Voks scored three runs in the top of the sixth to give themselves on outside chance of ending their five-game losing streak and making the cut. Three of those losses were by four runs or fewer.

Lanier got off to a 4-3 start in district play, which included a 3-1 win over Burbank on March 25.

“My boys believed we could beat them, because they’d done it already,” Sanchez said. “They were reqady to go. But Burbank blossomed. They started hitting the ball at the right time.

“That’s what it amounted to in district this year, who made plays and who got hits. The first time around, we hit the ball and we made plays. This time, it was the reverse.”

Both teams scored twice in the first inning. Lanier inched ahead with a run in the top of the second. Burbank seized control with a five-run explosion in the bottom of the inning.

Burbank’s 12-hit attack included its first home run of the season, from sophomore Jonathan Martinez.

“Burbank outhit us,” Sanchez said. “You’ve got to give them credit. That’s the bottom line.”

Martinez hit the two-run blast in the fourth inning and also had an RBI single among his three hits. Jonathan Alanis also had three hits, including two doubles. Tristan Settles (2 doubles, RBI), Conrad Perez (double, 3 RBIs), Felix Perez (triple, RBI) and Jeremy Moreno (RBI) also supplied two hits. Arturo Martinez added two RBIs.

“Our top hitter, Jeremy, has been kind of sparkplug,” Barrera said, “but our Nos. 3 and 4 hitters really went off. (Settles and Martinez) played a really big part, coming through and having such a big play.”

The Voks closed within 7-4 in the top of the fourth. Jon Garza (triple), Don Pardo (double, two RBIs) and pitcher Hector DeHoyos were Lanier’s leaders.

“Those three seniors (played well),” Sanchez said. “All season long, they’ve been the ones who’ve hit the ball consistently, and at the right time.”

The Bulldogs had an answer once again. Burbank scored two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth for a seven-run cushion.

Settles was the winning pitcher.

“We hadn’t really been able to get our offense going until the last three games,” Barrera said. “I think a big part of that was a testament to the kids. They were in playoff mode. If we hadn’t won those three, we wouldn’t have been there.”

Burbank will play District 27-4A champion Hays in a best-of-three series, which begins Thursday with a 7 p.m. game at SAISD Field No. 1. The series then moves to Buda for a 7 p.m. game at Hays Friday and, if necessary, a 1 p.m. game Saturday.

“Now the season starts all over,” Barrera said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going.”

The Bulldogs played Hays in the bi-district round last season. The Rebels won in two games.

“They’ve got a pitcher who’s going to A&M that threw against us last year,” Barrera said, referring to Tyler Woodmansee. “He’s going to be tough. We’ve got to find a way to get on base and find a way to score.

“I believe in the kids. I believe they’ll give us a chance to win.”

Lanier could be gearing up for a big year in 2015.

“I told them, ‘Look at how many guys we lost from last year,’ ” Sanchez said. “We’re young. They didn’t expect us to be here. We lost our entire infield from last year and we only had one returning outfielder.

“Look at what we accomplished. We had an opportunity to get to the playoffs. That’s a positive, and I’m very proud of to be coach of this team.

“We’ve come a long way, but we’re still young. We’ve got a lot to build on. It looks promising for next year and years to come.”

SOFTBALL: East Central finds hitting groove in Game 2 vs. Taft


Hornets complete sweep, return to area round



East Central left fielder Angel Lopez drive in two runs in Game 2 vs. Taft, helping the Hornets sweep the series.
East Central left fielder Angel Lopez drive in two runs in Game 2 vs. Taft, helping the Hornets sweep the series.

 From the third-base coaches’ box last Friday, throughout Game 2 if East Central’s best-of-three series with Taft, Hornets coach Megan McCutcheon could be heard urging her players to hit the ball hard.

Her pleas did not fall on deaf ears. From the top of the order to the bottom, they scorched it.

The Hornets (25-8) produced 10 hits in a 12-5 bi-district victory over Taft (18-10). East Central swept the series and moved on to play San Marcos this weekend.

“We just talked about doing more hitting,” McCutcheon said, “not waiting in the (batter’s) box. Not waiting for our pitch. First-pitch hitting was all we talked about. Hit the first (strike) hard.”

The Hornets had a pronounced sense of urgency after the offense failed to launch until the end of Game 1. Host East Central claimed a 3-2 walk-off win on junior Haydi Bugarin’s home run in the bottom of the 10th.

“I was thinking, ‘I’ve been seeing her so well tonight,’ ” Bugarin said. “Every single at-bat, I was seeing her well. I’m glad I finally hit the ball.”

East Central, Holy Cross and Southwest were the only area teams to survive the first week of postseason play. The Hornets advanced to the area round for the second-consecutive season and third time in four years.

“It was really good competition,” Taft coach Allison Briseno said. “It was just an exciting game. One hit here or there and it would have been a different ballgame.That got the hits last night, primarily at the end. Today was a new day.”

The Hornets scored in the second inning on freshman Angel Lopez’s RBI single. East Central junior Madison Strunk, who pitched the first-game victory, drew a walk and Hailey Reynolds was safe on an error, preceding the hit.

In the bottom of the second, Hornets senior Taylor Doege pitched out of a bases-loaded jam, stranding three Raiders on base.

“It was great to have that support out there,” Doege said. “My defense was awesome.”

Another freshman, Kendall Talley, led off the third with a single and stole home on the back end of a delayed double steal with Alexis Macias for a 2-0 lead.

“I love it,” McCucheon said of the Hornets’ freshmen. “They’re getting playoff experience. They’re learning. They make mistakes, but they’re working hard and they’re making contributions.”

Taft closed within a run in the bottom of the inning when Kristina Tiffany blasted a home run to left-center field in the bottom of the third.

“Coach McCutcheon always hypes us up,” Doege said. “She never lets us get down on ourselves. She always makes sure we keeps the ‘head edge,’ as she says.

“We can’t let ourselves get down if we struggle offensively or make errors. If we make an error, we can get a double play. If one person doesn’t hit, someone else will pick her up.”

East Central erupted for five runs in the fifth, keyed by an RBI triple from Talley (3-for-4, RBI) and a run-scoring double by senior Alexis Macias (2 RBIs).

“That one inning killed us,” Briseno said, “with all those runs. It didn’t go our way.”

Strunk hit a long fly ball, which was ruled a two-base error and sparked the rally. Lopez (2-for-3) drove in her second run. Talley’s triple picked up another run and Macias followed with the run-scoring double.

Ahead 5-1, the Hornets benefitted from another dropped fly ball – this time off Bugarin’s bat.

“She kept us in the game again today,” McCucheon said. “She got another clutch hit. Haydi’s going to capitalize if she gets anything to hit. She may be our best hitter.”

Doege (3-for-5) increased the lead to 7-1 with the first of her three-consecutive RBI singles.

“We were a little too patient (Thursday),” McCucheon said. “It was nice that we had four walks, but I want hits. I think they make a bigger impact.”

Freshman Gracie Becerra, the Hornets’ No. 9 hitter, produced a fifth-inning run with a single.

“We’re a really good hitting team,” Doege said. “Last night, I don’t want to say that we took it for granted, it’s just that we didn’t hit the ball like we know how to.”

Trailing 8-1, the Raiders rallied to score four runs on two hits in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Taft loaded the bases on a single from Hayley Hurley, a walk and an error. Tiffany (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) then came through with a two-run single. Raiders pitcher Cela Jo Hernandez added a sacrifice fly and Brianda Garza brought in another run with a safety-squeeze bunt.


East Central added a run in the sixth after Bugarin was safe on an error. She advanced two bases on a wild pitch and Doege sent a single up the middle that made it 9-5.

“If they give me a little bit of lee-way,” Bugarin said, “I’m going to take it.”

The Hornets put the game out of reach in the seventh when Lopez and Talley drew walks that served as cannon fodder. In succession, Macias produced a run with a ground out, Bugarin drove in one with a base hit and Doege collected her third RBI.

“I’ve got to give credit to East Central,” Briseno said. “They hit the ball really well, and they play hard. Especially after going 10 innings last night, only having one pitcher hurt us a little bit.”

Bugarin, celebrating her 17th birthday, referred her first hit of the evening as a present.

“Once we start hitting, everybody in the lineup hits,” Bugarin said. “I could see them starting to have their heads down. We knew we could take advantage of that.”

East Central will play host to San Marcos at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first game of a best-of-three series. The series shifts to San Marcos for Game 2 at 7 p.m. Friday. The third game, if necessary, will be played 2 p.m. Saturday at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1. The Hornets would be the home team for the prospective series finale.

“Anybody we play, we’re going to give them our all,” Bugarin said. “We’re a good team. We can hit from No. 1 through No. 9. There’s no weakness in our offense at all. We can go far, as far as we see ourselves going.”

BASEBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Cowboys finish 29-4A season with a flourish, defeat rival Harlandale

Southwest snares third in 28-5A; Edison edges Mustangs in pitcher’s duel



TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, McCollum, Southwest.

Sophomore Rafael Ramirez supplied two triples and senior pitcher Dominick Ortiz scattered seven hits while striking out six, leading second-place McCollum (24-5, 11-3) to a win over rival Harlandale (12-12, 8-6) Thursday in the District 29-4A season finale for both teams.

Like McCollum, Harlandale had already clinched a playoff spot. The Indians finished in a third-place tie with Floresville (14-10, 8-6), which defeated Southside (4-20, 1-13) 11-1 last Friday.

McCollum senior Jesse Medina drove in a first-inning run with a single and Ramirez (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) followed with a triple. The Cowboys never trailed after securing the 2-0 lead.

The Cowboys punched in three more runs in the third, following Ramirez’s second triple. Ryan Villalobos (2-for-3) and Ortiz (2-for-4) scored on the hit. A.J. Vasquez (2-for-2, 3 RBIs) drove in the sophomore with a base hit.

Harlandale produced its first run in the bottom of the fourth. Rogelio Gutierrez (2-for-3) brought the run home with a clutch single. An RBI double from the Indians sophomore Richard Acosta cut McCollum’s lead to 5-2 after five innings.

The Cowboys scored twice in the top of the seventh.

Ortiz only gave up one walk in notching the win. Harlandale pitcher Zach Perez struck out eight, but McCollum mustered 10 hits against the senior left-hander.

Tim Smith chipped in a double and Robert Palomino had a triple for Harlandale.

Southwest 4, Steele 2

The Dragons (12-10-1, 5-5) broke a three-way tie for third place in District 28-5A with a victory over Steele (13-14, 3-7) Friday in Cibolo. Southwest seized third and Steele fell into a fourth-place tie as a result of the outcome.

Southwest took the lead with a second-inning run, but the Knights matched it in the bottom of the inning. The pattern repeated itself again in the fifth. Finally, the Dragons notched a pair of runs in the top of the sixth and kept the Knights scoreless thereafter.

Dominick Lopez was the winning pitcher for Southwest. The Dragons will play Brandeis in a three-game bi-district series.

Edison 2, Jefferson 1

Golden Bears senior Julio Alvarez and Mustangs senior Cesar Carranza waged a battle of underrated District 28-4A pitchers Thursday on SAISD Field No. 1.

After four scoreless innings, both teams broke the ice in the fifth. Edison (4-17, 4-8) managed to score one more run than the Mustangs (5-19, 3-9) before the pitchers applied the clamps again.

Of Edison’s four wins, three were decided by one run and Alvarez pitched each of them. The left-hander scattered seven hits.

Carranza gave up five hits and struck out eight. Neither of the Golden Bears’ runs was earned.

The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Edison, who closed their season tied with Lanier for fifth place. Jefferson was just a game behind in the highly competitive seven-team district.

Kennedy 8, Memorial 1

The young Rockets (8-14, 4-9) finished the season with three wins in their last four games, defeating rival Memorial (6-19, 3-11) Thursday at Kennedy. Kennedy placed sixth in the district and Memorial was seventh.

Kennedy sophomore Fabian Del Toro (8-4, 1.17 ERA) only allowed three hits and kept the Minutemen scoreless until the sixth inning.

Del Toro received plenty of support from his Rockets teammates.

The Rockets broke out with three runs in the first inning. They increased the lead to 4-0 in the fourth and added four runs in the fifth.

Brackenridge 7, Highlands 4

The Eagles (14-8, 10-2) prepared for the postseason Thursday with their fifth-consecutive win, defeating Highlands (10-13, 5-7) in a District 28-4A game at SAISD Field No. 1.

Brackenridge took charge with two runs in the third inning. The Owls bolted ahead with three runs in the fifth, but the lead was short-lived. In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles regained their edge with a huge, five-run rally.

Highlands, which will represent the district as the No. 3 seed after tying for third with Burbank, scored its last run in the seventh.

Eagles senior Robert Rangel was the winning pitcher. Brackenridge outhit the Owls 8-6.

Senior Alex Hammerli led the Eagles with two hits and Mario Roldan drove in two runs. Matt de los Santos and Jongregory Gonzales each had one RBI.

SOFTBALL THURSDAY PLAYOFF REPORT: Bugarin’s blast gives Hornets walk-off win in Game 1

Boerne Champion takes early series lead on Brack

Brackenridge shortstop Miranda Sandoval makes a play on a Boerne Champion runner.
Brackenridge shortstop Miranda Sandoval makes a play on a Boerne Champion runner.

Brackenridge left fielder Josette Garcia made an outstanding running catch to end the third inning against Champion.
Brackenridge left fielder Josette Garcia made an outstanding running catch to end the third inning against Champion.


TEAMS INCLUDEDBrackenridge, East Central.

East Central junior shortstop Haydi Bugarin smacked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to provide the Hornets with a 3-2 victory in the Thursday in the Class 5A bi-district series opener.

It was actually the second time the Hornets (24-6) displayed a flair for the dramatic in the win over Taft (18-9), which placed third in District 27-5A. East Central, the No. 2 seed from 28-5A, had scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game to extra innings on its home field.

The Hornets will have a chance to end the series at 7 p.m. tonight when Game 2 shifts to Northside ISD Field No. 1. If necessary, a third series game will take place 2 p.m. Saturday at SAISD Field No. 1. East Central also would serve as the home team in that game.

East Central took a 1-0 lead in the opening game after Bugarin (2-for-4, RBI) singled and Alexis Macias drew a walk. Macias and senior Taylor Doege, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, executed a double steal. Macias scored on the back end.

The Raiders overtook the Hornets with two runs in the top of the sixth. Pitcher Cela Jo Hernandez, who pitched 9 1/3 innings, drove in Taft’s first run with a single and an error enabled a the second run to score on the play.

With two outs in the seventh, East Central freshman center fielder Kendall Talley doubled. Macias (3-for-4, 2 doubles, RBI) followed with an RBI single that sent the game to extra innings.

Bugarin’s fifth home run of the season was a line drive over the center field fence with one out in the 10th. The Raiders advanced runners to second base in both the ninth and 10th innings, but Hornets junior Madison Strunk escaped.

Strunk pitched all 10 innings to claim the win. She struck out four and walked one. Both teams produced eight hits.

Boerne Champion 6, Brackenridge 2

Having home-field advantage wasn’t enough for Brackenridge (17-10-1) to overcome the Chargers at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1. Boerne Champion (15-11) snapped a three-game losing streak with help from junior Stephanie Crumrine, who cranked her fourth home run of the season.

The Eagles now face an uphill road to advance to the area round, which leads toward Boerne. The remaining games are scheduled to take place tonight at Champion, with Game 2 set for 5 p.m. and the third game, if necessary, to take place 30 minutes after its conclusion.

Champion broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the second inning on Crumrine’s two-run shot and Grace Kerr’s RBI single. Brackenridge junior pitcher Alexis Berlanga (16-8) didn’t allow another run until the top of the fifth, when her counterpart, Chargers junior Maddie Boyers, lined an RBI single.

The Eagles scored with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Jacklynn Nevarez and Jaclyn Rodriguez reached base with walks. After a pair of fly outs, Nevarez came in on a passed ball to make it 6-1. Senior Ana DeLeon brought Kristen Reyna (Rodriguez ‘s courtesy runner) home with an infield single.

Boyers (13-7) held the Eagles to three hits, issued to Miranda Sandoval and freshman Alyssa Berlanga, in addition to DeLeon.

BASEBALL: Burbank seizes fourth in 28-4A to extend playoff streak

Bulldogs claim winner-take-all showdown with Lanier


Tristan Settles was the winning pitcher in Burbank's victory over Lanier Thursday.
Tristan Settles was the winning pitcher in Burbank’s victory over Lanier Thursday.

Two weeks ago, after back-to-back losses to District 28-4A champion Brennan and runner-up Brackenridge, it appeared Burbank’s streak of four-consecutive playoff appearance was in jeopardy. It might be fair to say it was on the endangered list.

All it took was three-straight wins to for Burbank (8-16-1, 5-7) to garner a hard-earned fifth playoff trip in a row. The Bulldogs completed the journey with an 11-7 win over Lanier (7-15, 4-8) in a do-or-die game Thursday at SAISD Field No. 2.

The winner automatically qualified for the postseason and the outcome was in doubt heading into the seventh inning. The Voks scored three runs in the top of the sixth to give themselves on outside chance of ending their five-game losing streak and making the cut. Three of those losses were by four runs or fewer.

Both teams scored twice in the first inning. Lanier inched ahead with a run in the top of the second. Burbank seized control with a five-run explosion in the bottom of the inning.

The Voks closed within 7-4 in the top of the fourth, but the Bulldogs had an answer once again. Burbank scored two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth for a seven-run cushion.

Sophomore Jonathan Martinez hit a home run for the Bulldogs. Tristan Settles was the winning pitcher.

The win had an added bonus for Burbank. The Bulldogs tied Highlands (10-13, 5-7) for third place in the district, although the Owls will claim the district’s No. 3 seed because of two head-to-head wins over the Bulldogs.

Lanier finished its season in a fifth-place tie with Edison (4-17, 4-8). Jefferson (5-19, 3-9) was just a game behind in the highly competitive seven-team district.


BASEBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Unconventional win puts Harlandale in playoffs

McCollum wraps up 2nd in 29-4A with win over Southside

TEAMS INCLUDEDEast Central, Harlandale, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, South San, Southside.


Harlandale (12-11, 8-5) drew seven walks and four hit batsmen to open the door to the postseason Tuesday. The combination of the win and a Floresville loss enabled the Indians to qualify for the second-consecutive season.

The Indians defeated Uvalde (10-13, 7-6) 9-1 at the Frank Tejeda Complex to break a three-way deadlock for third place in District 29-4A. Harlandale, which extended its winning streak to four games, took sole possession of third because of the victory, while Uvalde remained in a tie with Floresville (13-10, 7-6).

Harlandale senior pitcher Zach Perez (10-2) authored a four-hit standout performance, striking out seven and issuing just one walk.

The Indians also mustered just four hits, with freshman Christian Slocume (RBI) collecting two. Timothy Smith drove in two runs. Senior Brandon Ramon, Rogelio Gutierrez and Ramzey Martinez also drove in runs. Smith and Perez each drew two bases on balls.

Another freshman, Robert Palomino, was a model of offensive efficiency. Palomino was hit by three pitches and walked in his other plate appearance. He scored three runs.

Taking the lead with seven runs in the second inning, Harlandale defeated Coyotes ace Elias Garza. Garza was the only district pitcher to pick up awin against 29-4A champion Medina Valley.

McCollum 13, Southside 3 (5 innings)

The Cowboys (23-5, 10-3) clinched second place in District 29-4A win Tuesday with a run-rule victory at Southside (4-18, 1-11).

McCollum grabbed the lead with four runs in the top of the first, featuring an RBI single from Rene Martinez. The Cardinals cut it to 4-1 in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch after senior Gabe Botello drove a leadoff double.

The Cowboys increased their lead to 7-1 in the top of the third as Hector Arevalo (2 hits, 2 RBIs) drove in two runs with a base-hit. Southside again responded, this time with a two-run home run to left field from senior Chris Conrad. Justin Zertuche contributed an RBI double in the fifth to help McCollum pull away.

Jesse Medina and Heaven Garcia combined to pitch the victory for McCollum. Medina struck out four in two innings.

Rafael Ramirez, Zertuche and A.J. Vasquez each scored two Cowboys runs. Ramirez reached base three times on walks.

East Central 8, South San 2

The Hornets (12-10-2, 2-7) endangered South San’s playoff hopes with a District 28-5A upset win over the Bobcats (12-14, 3-5) Tuesday at East Central.

South San scored first, in the second inning, but the Hornets answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. East Central added a run in the fourth. The Bobcats pulled within 4-2 in the sixth, but the Hornets produced a four-run rally in the bottom half of the frame.

East Central sophomore Justin Upshaw-Mendoza was the winning pitcher. He limited the Bobcats to four hits. The Hornets finished with 10 hits.

Kennedy 4, Floresville 1

The Rockets (12-9, 6-2) played spoilers for Floresville and, in so doing, helped Harlandale nail down a playoff berth. The Indians clinched by virtue of two wins over the Tigers.

For Kennedy, sophomore Fabian Del Toro delivered yet another outstanding outing on the mound. The Rockets ace held Floresville to four hits and a second-inning run.

Kennedy wasn’t able to score until the sixth. Then they put the game out of reach. The Rockets manufactured a four-run rally in the sixth to win for the second-consecutive game after a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to McCollum in eight innings April 18,

BASEBALL: Area rankings (thru April 22)

Through April 22

TOP 15:

1. Central Catholic

2. McCollum

3. Brackenridge

4. Southwest

5. East Central

6. Burbank

7. Harlandale

8. South San

9. Highlands

10. Kennedy

11. Holy Cross

12. Jefferson

13. Memorial

14. Lanier

15. Edison

SOFTBALL: Area rankings (final)


TOP 15:

1. Southwest

2. East Central

3. Holy Cross

4. McCollum

5. Brackenridge

6. Edison

7. Jefferson

8. South San

9. Harlandale

10. Highlands

11. Kennedy

12. Lanier

13. Providence

14. Southside

15. Burbank

SOFTBALL: Hornets catch Carroll off guard in tiebreaker


Doege stymies Tigers in 28-5A second-place game

East Central third baseman Alexis Macias receives a throw from the outfield as a Southwest runner slides into the base.
East Central third baseman Alexis Macias produced a run by working a bases-loaded walk against Carroll.

East Central faced Corpus Christi Carroll for a third time this season Monday. So, Hornets coach Megan McCutcheon decided to change things up.
It worked like a charm.
Senior Taylor Doege made the start in the pitcher’s circle for the District 28-5A second-place tiebreaker. Doege pitched a three-hit shutout against Carroll as the Hornets (23-6) won 3-0 at the Victoria Complex in Victoria.
Both teams finished the district season with 7-3 records. The Hornets defeated the Tigers 3-2 March 11 in San Antonio. Carroll (22-6) won the rematch 1-0 April 4 in Corpus Christi.
“Carroll had seen Madison Strunk twice,” the first-year East Central coach said, referring to the Hornets
 junior. “She pitched both district games. I thought a different look would benefit us. I’m so fortunate to have that depth.”
Doege won the anticipated pitcher’s duel with Tigers freshman standout Hannah Mayo.
“Taylor seemed to be making adjustments on the rotations I called,” McCutcheon said, “and was very successful at changing speeds.
“We knew going into this game Carroll was a hard-hitting team. We expected the ball to be put in play. Our defense was ready for it. “
Mayo kept East Central scoreless through the first 2 2/3 innings. 
“Hannah Mayo is the real deal,” McCutcheon said. “She hits her spots really well. This is the third time we’ve seen her, so we knew what adjustments needed to be made and the kids were real successful in making those adjustments.”
With two out in the third, Hornets shortstop Haydi Bugarin blasted a triple.
“It was a line shot to center field,” McCutcheon said. “It was definitely a clutch hit at the right time. We had somebody on second. Haydi hit the ball in the gap and scored her.”
The Hornets also pushed runs across with two outs in the fourth inning. They scored twice, increasing their lead to three.
Hailey Reynolds got things started when she was hit by a pitch. Angel Lopez then was safe on an error. Chelsea Taylor laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing both runners but accounted for East Central’s second out.
A walk to Cara Johnson loaded the bases and East Central capitalized. Hornets freshman Kendall Talley, who returned from an injury-related absence of more than two weeks, was safe on another  error. 
With East Central ahead 2-0, Alexis Macias forced in the third run by drawing a base on balls.
“I definitely think we had a better focus this time after losing to them 1-0 (April 4),” McCutcheon said. “It was almost like we were hoping somebody was going to take care of it (last time).

“I told the girls going into it that this time they had to take care of it themselves. That big push we made with two outs, I think, was the girls knowing it was their time to make it happen.”
East Central begins a bi-district playoff series against Taft (18-8) Thursday with a 7 p.m. game on its home field. The Hornets travel to Northside Field No. 1 for a 7 p.m. game Friday, in which the Raiders will be considered the home team. The decisiive game of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Villarreal Field No. 1 in the SAISD Complex.
The Hornets will be the home team for that game, if it’s necessary, as a result of McCutcheon’s success in the coin flips.
“I was riding ‘heads’ all night,” she said.

Carrying a three-game winning streak that includes forcing a second-place tie in 28-5A and then seizing second, the Hornets also seem to be holding a hot hand.

“We had one scouting report on Taft,” McCutcheon said. “From what I can see, they’re going to put the ball in play. We need to be on our toes.

“I think the thing we need to do (offensively), is to step in the (batter’s) box ready to knock the cover off the ball. That was our attitude last night. We weren’t being surprised by a pitch on the plate.”


SOFTBALL: Area playoff schedule/results (updated April 26)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of April 24-26

Thursday’s games


BI-district round

East Central (24-6) 3, Taft (18-9) 2 (10 innings) (best-of-3 series: East Central leads 1-0)


BI-district round

Boerne Champion (15-11) 6, Brackenridge (17-10-12 (best-of-3 series: Boerne Champion leads 1-0)


Friday’s games


BI-district round

East Central (25-6) 12, Taft (18-10) 5 (best-of-3 series: East Central wins 2-0, advances to play San Marcos in area round)

Southwest (26-8) 15, Brandeis (13-14) 2 (5 innings) (best-of-3 series: Southwest leads 1-0)


BI-district round

Boerne Champion (16-11) 8, Brackenridge (17-11-13 (best-of-3 series: Boerne Champion wins 2-0)

Lockhart (16-6) 12, Edison (10-161 (best-of-3 series: Lockhart leads 1-0)

Hays (21-3) 14, Jefferson (10-120 (1-game series: Hays advances)

McCollum (17-6) 8, Victoria East (17-13-2) 1 (best-of-3 series: McCollum leads 1-0)


Saturday’s games


BI-district round

Southwest (27-812, Brandeis (13-15) (best-of-3 series: Southwest wins 2-0, advances to play Judson in area round)


BI-district round

Lockhart (17-6) 14, Edison (10-17) 11 (best-of-3 series: Lockhart wins 2-0)

Victoria East (18-13-2) 8, McCollum (17-74 (best-of-3 series: series tied 1-1)

Victoria East (19-13-2) 2, McCollum (17-80 (best-of-3 series: Victoria East wins 2-1)


BI-district round

Holy Cross (26-10-1) 4, Houston Lutheran South (14-16-1) 3 (1-game playoff, Holy Cross advances to play Houston Lutheran North-Victoria St. Joseph winner in state quarterfinals)


BASEBALL: This week’s schedule/results (thru April 26)


NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of April 20-26

Tuesday’s games

District 28-5A

East Central (12-10-2, 2-7) 8, South San (13-12, 3-6) 2

Corpus Christi King (13-8  ???, 6-3) 11, Southwest (11-10-1, 4-5) 1 (5 innings)

Corpus Christi Carroll (26-3, 9-0) 11, Steele (13-13, 3-6) 1 (6 innings)

District 29-4A

Kennedy (7-14, 4-9) 4, Floresville (13-10, 7-6) 1

McCollum (23-5, 10-3) 13, Southside (4-18, 1-11) 3 (5 innings)

Medina Valley (20-5-1, 12-1) 13, Memorial (6-18, 3-10) 0 (5 innings)

Harlandale (12-11, 8-5) 9, Uvalde (10-13, 7-6) 1

TAPPS District 3-4A

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (19-8-1, 9-0) 13, Holy Cross (6-18, 1-8) 3 (5 innings)

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (14-12, 3-5) 8, Cornerstone Christian (3-8 ???, 2-5  ???)

TMI (18-14, 4-5) 10, San Marcos Academy (0-8 ???, 0-6 ???)

Victoria St. Joseph (12-10, 7-1) 6, Austin Regents (16-10, 6-2) 3


Wednesday’s games

TAPPS District 2-5A

Antonian (26-6, 8-2) 9, St. Anthony (12-10 ???, 2-3 ???) 0

Austin St. Michael’s (19-8-2, 7-3) 9, Central Catholic (14-12, 6-4) 2


Thursday’s games

District 28-4A

Edison (4-17, 4-8) 2, Jefferson (5-18, 3-9) 1

Burbank (8-16-1, 5-7) 11, Lanier (7-15, 4-8) 7

Brackenridge (14-8, 10-2) 7, Highlands (10-13, 5-7) 4

District 29-4A

Kennedy (8-14, 5-9) 8, Memorial (6-19, 3-11) 1

McCollum (24-5, 11-3) 7, Harlandale (12-12, 8-6) 3

District 28-3A

Somerset (14-11-1 ???, 4-4) 1, Poteet (7-17 ???, 2-6) 0

TAPPS District 3-4A

San Antonio Christian (5-8-2 ???, 2-4 ???) 11, TMI (18-15, 4-6) 7


Friday’s games

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi King (14-8 ???, 7-3) 7, East Central (12-11-2, 2-8) 2

Corpus Christi Carroll (27-3, 10-0) 6, South San (13-13, 3-7) 0

Southwest (12-10-1, 5-5) 4, Steele (13-14, 3-7) 2

District 29-4A

Medina Valley (21-5-1, 13-1) 9, Uvalde (10-14, 7-7) 1

Floresville (14-10, 8-6) 11Southside (4-20, 1-13) 1 (5 innings) 

District 28-3A

La Vernia (21-4, 8-0) 10, Pleasanton (16-9, 6-2) 0


Saturday’s game

District 28-5A

Fourth-place tiebreaker

South San (14-13) 13, Steele (13-15) 7


SOFTBALL: Area playoff pairings (complete)


NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of April 20-26



BI-district round

Southwest (25-8) vs. Brandeis (13-13): best-of-3 series: Game 1: 5 p.m., Friday, Northside Field No. 1; Game 2: noon, Saturday, at Southwest; Game 3: 2 p.m., Saturday, at Southwest (if necessary)

East Central (23-6) vs. Taft (18-8): best-of-3 seriesGame 1: 7 p.m., Thursday, at East Central; Game 2: 7 p.m., Friday, Northside Field No. 1; Game 3: 2 p.m., Saturday, Villarreal Field No. 1 (if necessary)



BI-district round

Brackenridge (17-9-1) vs. Boerne Champion (14-11): best-of-3 series: Game 1: 5 p.m., Thursday, at Villarreal Field No. 1; Game 2: 5 p.m., Friday, at Boerne Champion; Game 3: 7 p.m., Friday, at Boerne Champion (if necessary)

Edison (10-15) vs. Lockhart (15-6) at Northeast ISD Complex: best-of-3 series: Game 1: 7 p.m., Friday; Game 2: noon, Saturday; Game 3: 3 p.m., Saturday (if necessary)

Jefferson (10-11) vs. Hays (20-3) at Villarreal Field No. 1, 6 p.m., Friday. 1-game playoff

McCollum (16-6) vs. Victoria East (17-12-2): best-of-3 series: Game 1: 7 p.m., Friday, at Seguin; Game 2: 11:30 a.m., Saturday, at Seguin; Game 3: 1:30 p.m., Saturday, at Seguin (if necessary)



SOFTBALL: This week’s schedule/results (updated thru April 23)


NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of April 20-26

Monday’s games

TAPPS District 2-5A

Antonian (24-7, 6-1) 12, St. Anthony (10-12-1 ???, 3-5 ???) 0 (5 innings) 

District 28-5A

Second-place tiebreaker

East Central (23-6) 3, Corpus Christi Carroll (22-6 ???) 0


Incarnate Word (18-21) 6, Edison (10-15) 4


Wednesday’s games

TAPPS District 2-5A

Antonian (24-7, 6-1) 12, Providence (4-10 ???, 1-5 ???) 0 (5 innings)


BASEBALL: Area playoff picture (final)


Baseball playoff picture

These are the area teams that qualified for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):


QUALIFIERS:  Brackenridge (14-8, 10-2), Burbank (8-16-1, 5-7), Central Catholic (14-12, 6-4), Harlandale (12-12, 8-6), Highlands (10-12, 5-7), McCollum (24-5, 11-3), South San (14-13, 3-7), Southwest (12-10-1, 5-5).

BASEBALL: Brack offense returns in win over Lanier

Rangel shuts out Voks


Brackenridge (13-8, 9-2) bounced back from a sub-par offensive showing Tuesday against Jefferson to defeat Lanier (7-14, 4-7) 12-0 Thursday at SAISD Field No. 1. The Eagles finished with 11 hits.

The second-place Eagles took the lead with two runs in the first inning. They also scored twice in the third, before breaking out with eight runs over the next two innings to put the 10-run rule into effect.

Brackenridge senior Robert Rangel limited the Voks to four hits while striking out seven.

Senior Tristen Cortinas went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Mario Roldan led the Eagles with three hits. Matt de los Santos was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Alex Hammerli drove in two runs. Austin Lozano collected an RBI. Freshman Johnathon Lucas scored four runs.

Brackenridge, which is assured of finishing in second, will complete its district season with a 7 p.m. game against Highlands (10-12, 5-6) Thursday at SAISD Field No. 1.

Lanier is tied with Burbank (7-16-1, 4-7) for fourth place. The teams will square off Thursday at SAISD Field No. 2 to determine the district’s final playoff qualifier.

SOFTBALL: Mustangs clarify 28-4A playoff tangle with upset win over Edison


Brack thunders into playoffs, leaves Highlands stranded



Pitching and defense are the foundation on which success is built but, in District 28-4A, it was the Year of the Bat.

Hitting reigned again Thursday night as the final three playoff seeds were settled at the Mary Ann Villarreal Complex. The three winning teams scored a combined 41 runs on a pressure-packed evening in which something was at stake on each diamond.

On Field No. 3, Lanier (6-17, 2-10) locked in sixth place by defeating seventh-place Burbank (3-20-1, 0-12) 17-5. On Field No. 1, Brackenridge (17-9-1, 9-3) caught fire mid-game to down Highlands (8-13-1, 5-7) 10-0 to ultimately secure second place in the district.

“Our main concern was hits and (base)running,” Eagles senior Allie Castillo said. “It was just about getting hits. That was what was going to win this game.”

Both games ended early because of the 10-run rule, allowing the spotlight to settle on the late show at diamond No. 2. That game, too, ended with a double-digit margin of victory – which masked the fact that the score was tied 2-2 through six innings.

“It’s been building up all year long,” Jefferson coach Jennifer Gomez said, referring to the winning rally, “and even the past four years. These seniors wanted it. They wanted to do that to our rival, Edison. We’ve been losing to them for four years.”

In the top of the seventh, Jefferson’s smoldering offense burst into flame. The Mustangs (10-11, 6-6) burned Edison (10-15, 8-4) for 10 hits and 12 runs in their half-inning and surrendered only one inconsequential run to Edison’s potent bats while recording the final three outs in a game steeped in ramifications to four teams.

Although the Golden Bears advanced to the playoffs despite the 14-3 loss to Jefferson, their destiny was intertwined with what had taken place on the adjacent field. Brack’s win dropped Edison to third place and Highlands’ loss opened the door for a second-consecutive playoff appearance for senior-laden Jefferson.

The Mustangs proved they were a team of destiny in seizing fourth place with their backs to the wall.

“I’m very proud,” said Jefferson senior Melanie Ybarra, who drove in the go-ahead run with a triple. “Everyone doubts us. We came back and proved them wrong.”

Edison, unaccustomed to anything but crunch-time success in the final days of recent district seasons, had to count on the playoffs for salvation.

“Jefferson came out ready to play,” Golden Bears coach Aimee Silva said. “We got a little too comfortable. When it was 2-2, we thought we’d get it in the last inning.

“Now we’re in the playoffs, and it’s always about what happens in the playoffs. We have to play to win in that first round game, or we are done.”

Brackenridge 10, Highlands 0

Like Jefferson, the Eagles scored in bunches.

Brackenridge led 1-0 after three innings, scoring on Jackie Rodriguez’s fielder’s choice in the second inning. Highlands put up a brave bid to garner its first playoff appearance in about a decade in the early innings, but wasn’t able to pick up RBIs in order to keep pace with Brackenridge.

Junior pitcher Alexis Berlanga limited the Owls, another team with high-scoring capability, to six hits in pitching a shut out.

“We told ourselves we needed this win,” Castillo said, while watching the Edison-Jefferson game, “for seeding for the playoffs. Now it all depends on what Edison does right here.”

The Eagles separated themselves with a four-run rally in the fourth, sparked by Lexus Lozano’s double.

“To me, it was the next inning,” Brackenridge coach Robyn Murken said. “We had two down, and we started hitting right around then. We got a bunch, maybe three or four, hits in a row.”

They added four more runs in the fifth, aided by senior Ana DeLeon’s two-RBI single.

The pitcher’s sister, freshman Alyssa Berlanga, contributed a two-run double and a sacrifice fly. Castillo was 2-for-3 at the plate as Brackenridge produced 12 hits.

“They’ve been hitting the last four or five games,” Murken said. “We’ve been getting at least 10 hits every game.”

The Eagles got off to a rough start in district play, dropping two of their first three games to Edison and Brennan. Through most of the 28-4A season, Brackenridge was alone in third place.

“We just knew we had to focus,” DeLeon said. “Maybe we couldn’t win district, but we could take second for the playoffs. We just had to keep on fighting and fighting and fighting.”

Brackenridge began its push for second place immediately. The Eagles won eight of their last nine district games.

“I told them they put themselves in this position,” Murken said. “We could have won it all, but we just had to persevere and play through.

We’re still peaking. We’re not on a down slope. We can still get better.”

Brackenridge will play a best-of-three playoff series against Boerne Champion (14-11), which begins 5 p.m. Thursday at Villarreal Field No. 1. The series shifts to Boerne Friday for games at 5 p.m. and, if necessary, 7 p.m.

“I think we’re really prepared,” DeLeon said, referring to the playoffs. “I do believe we could pass the first round. We have every single skill anybody would need to have to go far in the playoffs.”

Jefferson 14, Edison 3

The first four Jefferson batters reached base in the decisive seventh inning, serving as kindling for the rally.

Mustangs No. 9 hitter Amanda Garza, who had tripled and scored in the fifth, drove a single to right-center field to get it started. Amber Maldonado also singled, ahead of Ybarra’s triple down the right-field line.

“I was only trying to make contact and contribute to the team,” Ybarra said. “It felt amazing when I hit it. I got to first, and once I saw it get through, I smoked it.”

A walk and an error preceded winning pitcher Mary Loera’s RBI double. It was one of six Jefferson doubles in the inning, culminating with a run-scoring bash from Becky Rodriguez for the 14th run.

“They took a toll on us, mentally,” Silva said. “When you have two outs and give up 12 runs, your minds really aren’t in the game.”

Rodriguez also drove in the Mustangs’ first run, in the first inning. Edison matched it in the bottom of the inning on catcher Mari Quinones’ run-scoring double to left-center.

The score was tied 1-1 until the fifth, when Garza scored on an error.

“Amanda was on the varsity last year, but this is her first year starting,” Gomez said. “She played a role last year. She was more of a utility player. Her hitting kept her in the lineup this year, and tonight she showed it again. She did a great job.”

Golden Bears senior pitcher Celeste Vela drove in her team’s last two runs. She supplied a two-out, run-producing single up the middle in the fifth and an RBI double down the right-field line in the seventh.

“(Vela) pitched really well against us,” Gomez said. “She’s a great little pitcher. She kept us off-balance, but my girls kept battling and the hits finally came around for us.”

Edison had shared first place in the district with Brennan last season.

“It was just one of those things,” Gomez said. “We wanted to score first. We wanted to be the team that was in control and put pressure on them. We did it to them, this time.”

Jefferson returned the majority of its team from last year’s playoff team, which won a fourth-place tiebreaker to advance. The Mustangs roster featured 10 seniors, eight of whom started last Thursday.

“We came alive,” Ybarra said. “We wanted it. We were tired of people saying we weren’t good enough. We weren’t going to let them beat us again.”

Ybarra also was a regular on Jefferson’s bi-district volleyball team.

“It’s a great feeling getting to the playoffs in any sport,” she said. “Softball has been so fun playing with all these girls, that makes it even sweeter.”

In the bi-district round, Jefferson will face District 27-4A champion Hays (20-3) in a one-game playoff, 6 p.m. Friday at Villarrreal Field No. 2.

“I told them all season that we hadn’t peaked yet,” Gomez said. “Now, we can peak in the playoffs.”

The Golden Bears seemingly performed an amazing transformation during the district season. They were 2-9 during the non-district portion of their schedule, then won their first three district games before falling to eventual champion Brennan 4-2.

“We play a lot of tough teams in the non-district season,” Silva said, “where a lot of teams play games they’re going to win. That’s for us to get prepared for the playoffs.”

Edison will play Lockhart (15-6) in a three-game series at the Northeast ISD Complex. Games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, with a 3 p.m. game Saturday, if necessary.

The Golden Bears performed well in a tune-up game Monday, falling 6-4 to a solid TAPPS team, Incarnate Word.