SOFTBALL ROUNDUP (for week ending April 20, 2013)

THIS STORY CONTAINS INFO ABOUT: Edison, Southwest, Holy Cross, Brackenridge, Jefferson and McCollum (in order)

FOR A FULL STORY ON SOUTHSIDE VS. HARLANDALE softball (April 19, 2013 @ Frank Tejeda Complex), click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Harlandale-softball-team-shoots-past-Southside-4453963.php

FOR INFO ABOUT: East Central and the playoff situation, click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/High-School-sports-round-up-4453971.php

By Mike Considine

Edison

In District 28-4A, Edison (14-15-2, 10-2) won an outright title Friday with a 14-4 victory over Jefferson (13-15, 7-5), after clinching a share of first place with an emotional victory over Brennan Tuesday.

The Golden Bears had built a 5-0 lead by the bottom of the third inning Friday, when the Mustangs scored their first run. Jefferson clawed back within 5-3 in the fourth. However, Edison wasn’t willing to settle for just a share of first place.

Edison assured itself of the outright championship with four runs in the fifth inning and five in the seventh. The Golden Bears had won four-consecutive games and eight in a row in the district.

“(The girls) worked really hard every day,” Edison coach Aimee Silva said.

The 11-10 win over Brennan (15-11, 9-3) April 14 was special for two reasons. Not only did it give the Golden Bears a chance to snare their fourth-consecutive district title, it was achieved on a night set aside for raising awareness of breast cancer, the disease that claimed former Edison coach Mary Ann Villarreal in 2010.

It was the known as the first annual Pitch For the Cure game.

“We had been struggling at the bottom of the lineup,” Silva said. “It ended up that our No. 9 hitter came through that inning. When we got to the top of the lineup, I knew we’d score some runs.”

Edison’s Celeste Vela was the winning pitcher in a game of momentum swings. The Golden Bears rode their first-place showdown adrenaline to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. They added two more runs in the second to counter a run from Brennan, which was concluding its district schedule.

The Bears pulled away to lead 10-6 lead by their half of the sixth. Edison closed to 10-8 in the bottom of the inning.

With bases loaded and none out in the seventh, No. 9 hitter Mari Quinones hit into a force play. Brennan got the lead runner out at the plate, but an errant return throw to third base put Edison within 10-8. Brittany Salinas scored on the play.

With Quinones at second base and April Escobedo at third, Vela smacked a two-run single that gave Edison the walkoff win as well as made herself the winning pitcher.

Southwest

The Dragons (29-5, 8-2) held on to their share of first April 16 to win a fourth-consecutive championship, blasting Steele (17-12, 5-5) 11-2 at Southwest.

Southwest wasted no time in establishing their dominance against the Knights. The Dragons struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

The Dragons had an even bigger knockout punch waiting. They erupted for eight runs in the fourth to squelch the Knights’ hopes for an upset that would have assured them the No. 3 seed in 28-5A. Steele tied King for third.

Steele scored both of its runs in the fifth, with help from a home run by Nala Quevido. Southwest junior pitcher Kamarie Vidales limited the Knights to four hits. The Dragons amassed nine.

Southwest will draw either Brandeis (20-6) or Holmes (19-9) in the bi-district round. The 27-5A teams are currently tied for third place.

Holy Cross

The Knights (21-13-2) lost 5-1 to Victoria St. Joseph (20-8) in the championship game of the TAPPS District 3-4A Tournament last Saturday after trouncing Austin St. Dominic Savio 12-2 April 16 in the semifinals.

In the title game in Victoria, Holy Cross scored first, in top of fourth, as Knights pitcher Julia Ibarra kept the home team in check. However, St. Joseph answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. St. Joseph added two more in the fifth on a base hit from Christine Janak.

The Flyers finished with 11 hits. The Knights had six hits off winning pitcher Amanda Sohrt.

In the semifinals, the Knights broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning. A three-run rally in the sixth increased their lead to 12-0. St. Dominic Savio scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to stave off the 10-run rule.

Holy Cross produced 15 hits. St. Dominic Savio had three.

Brackenridge/Jefferson

Brackenridge (14-15-1, 8-4) nudged Jefferson out of third place with a 14-5 win over Highlands (8-20, 3-9) last Friday at Villarreal Field No. 3, while Edison defeated the Mustangs on Field No. 1.

Jefferson’s loss, coupled with Brackenridge’s win, settled the district’s playoff situation. Brackenridge finished third and the Mustangs took fourth.

The Eagles, who defeated Jefferson a week earlier, scored once in the first inning and four times in the fourth. The Owls then battled back with four runs in the fifth and a tying run in the sixth. Brackenridge broke the 5-5 tie with an alarming nine runs in the top of the seventh. The Eagles finished with 14 hits. Highlands had seven.

Jefferson had a chance to pull even with Brackenridge in the standings after blasting Burbank (7-17, 4-8) 17-5 April 16,.while the Eagles won 11-0 against Lanier (5-20, 1-11). Mary Loera was the winning pitcher for the Mustangs, who scored four runs in the second, six in the sixth and seven in the seventh.

The Bulldogs had taken a 6-4 lead with five runs in the fourth inning. Both teams finished with 11 hits.

Brackenridge sophomore Alexis Berlanga pitched a combined one-hitter against Lanier. Berlanga struck out four in 4 2/3 innings.

Miranda Sandoval led the Eagles, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Berlanga also hit a home run. Ashley Falcon drove in two runs. Allie Castillo, Celeste Canales and Kristen Reyna all drove in runs.

McCollum

The fifth-place Cowboys fell behind 6-0 by the middle of the third inning in their loss to Medina Valley April 16.

After scoring a run in the third, McCollum couldn’t push any runs across until the bottom of the seventh against the district champions at the Tejeda Complex. Trailing 11-1, the Cowboys produced four runs. The Panthers had a 15-hit attack. McCollum also had a solid night at the plate with five hits.

Last Friday at Tiger Field it was a different story. The Cowboys took control with seven runs in the second inning and three more in the third. Winning pitcher Amber Saucedo limited the Rockets to five hits. McCollum had 10 hits.

BASEBALL ROUNDUP (for week ending April 20, 2013)

THIS STORY CONTAINS INFO ABOUT: Burbank, McCollum, Lanier and Southwest (in order)

FOR A FULL STORY ON SOUTHSIDE VS. HARLANDALE softball (April 19, 2013 @ Frank Tejeda Complex), click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Harlandale-softball-team-shoots-past-Southside-4453963.php

FOR INFO ABOUT: Burbank, Harlandale, McCollum and South San, click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/High-School-sports-round-up-4453971.php

By Mike Considine

Burbank

The Bulldogs (11-14, 8-3) notched a key 5-4 victory over Edison (13-12, 6-5) April 16 and won another close one 6-5 over Jefferson (6-16, 3-8) last Friday at the SAISD Complex. The wins locked up a playoff berth for Burbank.

The victory over Edison fortified the Bulldogs’ hold on second place, while the Golden Bears remained in third. Burbank scored four runs in the second inning to take control. Edison closed to 4-3 an inning later. The Bulldogs tallied the winning run in the fifth.

Nick Canas (RBI), Frank Romo (RBI) and Eduardo Salas each had two hits for the Bulldogs. Matt Ramirez drove in two runs. Salas was the winning pitcher, striking out five. Ramirez provided relief help.

Julian Cortez hit a home run for Edison.

Against Jefferson, the Bulldogs had to come back from a 4-1 deficit to claim the win. The teams were tied 1-1 after an inning. The Mustangs added two runs in the third and one in the fourth to get the early advantage in the pitcher’s duel. Burbank rallied with three runs in the fifth to tie it and came through with a dramatic win, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh.

Senior Andy Morales struck out seven and combined with Ramirez on a four-hit performane. Ramirez relieved Morales to get the last two outs. Both teams had four earned runs.

Jefferson received a strong performance from Nicholas Flores, who limited Burbank to five hits. Flores struck out four.

The Mustangs were led offensively by Ralph Lazarine, who had a double, a triple and two RBIs. Nate DeHoyos contributed two hits and an RBI. Lane Jimenez had a double and two RBIs.

Burbank got two RBIs apiece from Salas and Morales. Romo and Conrad Perez also drove in runs.

McCollum

The Cowboys edged Kennedy 7-6 to hold onto second place in 29-4A following a loss to district-leading Medina Valley April 16 at the Tejeda Complex.

Against Kennedy at Edgewood Field, Jesse Medina (2-for-3) led McCollum with double and two RBIs. Patrick Jauregui and Ruben Reyes collected RBIs. Hector Arevalo and Dominik Ortiz each scored two runs.

Rockets freshman Del Toro limited the Cowboys’ potent lineup to five hits. Kennedy finished with seven.

McCollum’s Eric Salinas (8 strikeouts, 6 2/3 innings) earned the win with help from Gabe Contreras.

Medina Valley defeated the Cowboys 13-0 as Panthers pitcher Jonathan DeVries allowed three hits and struck out 10.

Lanier

The Voks (9-13, 5-6) won their only game last week to step into fourth place. Lanier defeated Brackenridge (8-17, 2-9) 13-11 last Friday at SAISD Field No. 2.

Lanier rallied to win with four runs in the sixth and sixth in the seven. Brack built a 5-1 lead in the first three innings and scored five times in the bottom of the seventh.

Brackenridge got two hits apiece from Joe Martinez (RBI), Justin Sanchez (2 doubles), Mario Roldan (double, 2 RBIs), Robert Rangel and Brayan Guerrero (RBI).

The Voks received three hits from Hector DeHoyos, including a double and three RBIs. Jesse Torres (triple, 2 RBIs), Joshua Esquivel (2 RBIs) and Nicholas Mojica (2 RBIs) each conytributed two hits.

Southwest

The Dragons (11-13, 3-6) salvaged their playoff hopes with a 3-2 win over King last Friday at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi. The win tied Southwest with East Central for fifth place in the district.

Southwest scored all of its runs in the first two innings and held on as the Mustangs scored in the fourth and fifth. Joseph Cerda was the winning pitcher and senior John Eric Cortez earned the save.

Resurgent Corpus Christi Carroll (18-9, 4-5), which gained fourth place with two wins last week, defeated Southwest 10-2 April 15 on the same field.

Local baseball and softball results (April 18-20, 2013)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Saturday’s scores

BASEBALL

District 2-5A

Antonian 9, Central Catholic 5

SOFTBALL

TAPPS District 3-4A Tournament

Championship

Victoria St. Joseph 5, Holy Cross 1

Friday’s scores

SOFTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge 14, Highlands 5

Burbank 9, Lanier 7

Edison 14, Jefferson 4

District 28-3A

Sam Houston at Poteet

District 29-4A

Harlandale 6, Southside 3

Medina Valley 7, Floresville 2

NOTE: Harlandale and Floresville tie for 3rd place

McCollum 12, Kennedy 2

Uvalde 15, Memorial 0

Non-district

Incarnate Word 11, East Central 2

BASEBALL

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll 5, Steele 3

South San 6, East Central 1

Southwest 3, Corpus Christi King 2

District 28-4A

Brennan 14, Edison 3

Burbank 6, Jefferson 5

Lanier 13, Brackenridge 11

District 28-3A

Sam Houston at Poteet

District 29-4A

Harlandale 8, Southside 4

McCollum 7, Kennedy 6

Medina Valley 10, Floresville 0

Uvalde 11, Memorial 1

Non-district

Antonian 18, Highlands 4

BASEBALL: Already in playoffs, Harlandale aims for better seed after win over Southside

Burbank, Harlandale, McCollum all playoff-bound

By Mike Considine

Harlandale has already crossed the biggest goal for this season off its list. Now, the Indians are setting their sights a little higher.

After a two-year absence from the postseason, Harlandale (12-11, 8-4) guaranteed itself of an extended season Tuesday with a victory over Memorial. Far from being satisfied, the Indians battled for an 8-4 win over a determined Southside squad Friday at the Frank Tejeda Complex.

“It was a big relief,” Harlandale senior Michael Agis said of making the playoffs. “It made me feel like a freshman again. It was a big weight off our shoulders.

“We’re going to try to win out. If we can do that, we’ll be in second place by ourselves, and not have to play a higher seed in the playoffs.”

Burbank, Harlandale and McCollum are the only are teams that have clinched playoff berths heading into the final week of the season, although several local teams still have a chance to qualify.

The schedule is lining up for the Indians to have a chance to improve on its current district placing. The two wins this week tied Harlandale for third place with Uvalde (12-9-1, 8-4).

The Indians were originally scheduled to play at Uvalde next Tuesday, but that game had to be moved because of testing. They’ll finish the 29-4A season at the Coyotes’ field next Saturday at noon. Their next game will be against archrival and second-place McCollum (20-4, 9-3) 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Tejeda complex.

“We were very fortunate to clinch (the playoffs),” Harlandale coach Eric Forestier said. “I think this is the first time we’ve clinched that early since I’ve been here – seven years. We’re attacking each game like it’s a playoff game.

“We have to beat Uvalde, and then we’d be in third by ourselves. If we win out, we’ll be in second place by ourselves. If we lose both, we’ll be in fourth.”

Southside (7-18-1, 3-9) was officially eliminated from playoff consideration Tuesday. The Cardinals are part of a three-way tie for fifth in 29-4A, along with Kennedy (8-15, 3-9) and Floresville (8-17-1, 3-9).

“(Agis) is definitely the type of pitcher we want to work the count against,” Southside coach Fernando Garcia said. “For the most part, we were able to put the ball in play fairly well. We were being disciplined at the plate.”

Agis (8-1, 0.56 ERA) struck out 21 Cardinals batters in the Indians’ 3-2 win March 26 at Southside. So, he knew they’d be out for revenge Friday.

Then he was hit by a curve ball between the shoulders while batting in the first inning. Agis admitted that the injury affected his throwing during the game.

“I started off slow,” he said. “I got hit in the back, by the shoulder blade. The main thing is we got the win. It doesn’t matter how we got it.”

In the rematch, Agis struck out 10 – bringing his season total to 112 in 62 innings – while walking four. Two of the Cardinals’ runs were unearned, but they mustered nine hits to Harlandale’s seven.

“You can’t strike out everybody or pitch a no-hitter every game,” Forestier said. “We talked about how he needed to pitch. About how he needed to be a pitcher, not a thrower, and throw his breaking ball for strikes.

“I’m sure he was a little sore, but he was all right. He won’t pitch again until Thursday, against McCollum.”

The Cardinals reached Agis for four hits in the early going, but the game remained scoreless until Harlandale’s half of the fourth.

“It was a pretty good pitcher’s duel between Noe (Garza, Southside’s starter) and Agis,” Garcia said. “Noe, for us, was hitting his spots. He was changing things up and keeping them off-balance. He was in control for the portion he was in the game, and that was good to see for him.”

Agis (2-for-3) circled the bases with one out in the inning. He belted a triple that hugged the right-field line. The senior standout came home on the play when the relay throw was errant. Agis also collected the first of his three RBIs, as his hit brought home senior Jonathan Rodriguez, who had singled.

Southside threatened to score in its half of the fourth. Junior shortstop Ryan Cortez slammed a double and took third on a wild pitch. However, Agis got Southside’s third out on a pop up, stranding two runners.

“(Southside) had some crucial baserunning mistakes,” Forestier said, referring to the early innings. “We were able to capitalize on that.”

The lost offensive opportunity soon came back to haunt the Cardinals. Harlandale essentially won the game with six runs in its half of the fourth.

“We started executing a little better and putting the ball in play,” Forestier said. “We got key hits when we had men on base. It came down to execution.”

A Southside error, a sacrifice bunt from Harlandale designated hitter Zach Perez, a hit by Kinkaid Gonzales and a walk to junior Brandon Ramon opened the flood gates. The Indians had loaded the bases with one out. Rodriguez walked to force in a run ahead of Agis’ two-run single, which increased Harlandale’s lead to 5-0.

Senior Nick Martinez drove home two more runs with a base hit. Another Cardinals error made it 8-0.

“Without a doubt against Harlandale, you don’t want to give them any opportunities they can take advantage of,” Garcia said. “That was heads-up on their part. We had eliminated that, prior to that inning.

“But they’ll take advantage of things, just like we did in the seventh.”

Southside broke the ice in the fifth, after freshman Ryan Ramirez led off with a double. Jake Ramos drew a walk and Gabriel Botello brought home the run with a two-out single to center field.

Botello also sparked a Southside rally in the seventh.

He delivered a base hit and Christian Garza, who entered the game with a pinch-hit single in the fifth, walked. Second baseman Luis Salazar then sent a bases-clearing triple to the gap in left-center field, bringing the Cardinals within 8-3. Salazar scored on a grounder from Cortez before Agis was able to put out the fire.

In Harlandale’s win over Memorial Tuesday, Martinez limited the Minutemen to two hits and was the winning pitcher. Junior Rogelio Gutierrez led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and six RBIs.

Richard Acosta, Gonzales, Martinez and Agis all contributed two hits. Gonzales, Martinez and Agis drove in runs as the Indians scored nine runs in the third inning and eight in the fourth.

“It’s just been hard work and executing,” Agis said of Harlandale’s growth to become a playoff team. “Getting the job done. We’ve done the little things, like getting bunts down and moving runners.”

Southside was coming off a tough, 5-3 loss to Kennedy Tuesday on its home field. The Rockets led 2-0 after an inning, but the Cardinals cut the lead in half in the fourth and won with a two-run rally in the fifth.

Kennedy regained the lead for good with three runs in the top of the sixth to make freshman Fabian Del Toro the winning pitcher for the second time this season versus the Cardinals.

Southside will close out its regular season with a 6:30 p.m. game against Floresville Thursday and a game against McCollum Saturday, which is tentatively scheduled for noon.

“What I talked about is, what they want to leave, for the baseball program and for themselves,” Garcia said. “For the seniors, especially, we want them to keep moving and stay focused. We want them to respect the game and show discipline. If they respect the game, they’ll finish strong, with no regrets and leave everything on the field.”

SOFTBALL: Harlandale takes third in 29-4A, to face Tuloso-Midway

Edison won’t share 28-4A title

Indians, Golden Bears among seven local playoff teams

By Mike Considine

It seems Harlandale was so focused on making the playoffs, the Indians didn’t realize that another, bigger achievement was sneaking up on them.

While the Indians (14-10, 8-6) secured their fifth-consecutive playoff appearance under coach Jennifer Bocanegra Friday at the Frank Tejeda Complex, they also accomplished something more. Harlandale’s 6-3 win over Southside (13-18, 5-9) enabled it to tie Floresville (11-19, 8-6) for third place in the district.

When the playoff push began, Harlandale was merely shooting for fourth place and the last available postseason slot in District 29-4A. At the time, the first three placings seemed securely hands of eventual champion Medina Valley (24-7, 14-0), Uvalde (17-9, 12-2) and Floresville.

Then the Jaguars hit an unforeseen skid. They lost to Uvalde Tuesday and to Medina Valley Friday, both by 7-2 scores. Meanwhile, the Indians extended their winning streak to three games following back-to-back losses to Medina Valley (April 5) and Floresville (April 9).

“We stumbled against Floresville,” Bocanegra said. “Then we had to hope McCollum stumbled. We had to hope and cross our fingers. Things had to happen, and they just fell into place.
“I told the girls we needed to take it one pitch at a time, and they did that very well.”

Harlandale was the seventh area team to qualify for the playoffs. Brackenridge (14-15-1), East Central (20-11), Edison (14-15-2), Holy Cross (22-13-2), Jefferson (13-15) and Southwest (29-5) had already qualified before Friday’s games began.

“We usually make the playoffs every year,” Indians senior left fielder Amanda Esparza said. “We had to keep going. We’ve had success and have certain set standards for the program. We wanted to maintain our reputation and our standards.

“We were going to keep playing hard, win or lose. It feels good to get in.”

In District 28-4A, Edison won an outright title Friday with a 14-4 victory over Jefferson, after clinching a share of first place with a win over Brennan Tuesday. Jefferson’s loss, coupled with Brackenridge’s 14-5 win over Highlands, settled the district’s playoff situation. Brackenridge finished third and the Mustangs took fourth.

East Central and Southwest each concluded district play Tuesday, finishing in a first-place tie in District 28-5A. Holy Cross fell 5-1 to Victoria St. Joseph (20-8) Saturday in the TAPPS 3-4A tournament championship game.

Both Southside and McCollum began the week with a chance to grab fourth place in 29-4A.

McCollum also won Friday, defeating Kennedy (7-20, 2-12) 12-2. However, the Cowboys lost 11-5 to Medina Valley Tuesday. At that point, their playoff hopes hinged on the outcome of the Southside-Harlandale game. They needed their archrival to lose.

The Cardinals were willing to hold up their end. Although Southside’s playoff hopes also officially ended Tuesday, it delivered a playoff-caliber performance against Harlandale during the Indians’ Senior Night.

Before Tuesday’s games, Southside needed to win its last two games while Harlandale and McCollum each absorbed two losses to finish in what would have been a three-way tie for fourth.

“We have a lot of seniors, and it’s really hard for them,” Southside coach Mike Alfaro said. “We’re as good as any team that’s going to the playoffs. It’s tough not to make it, but that’s the way it goes.”

After defeating Kennedy 3-2 Tuesday, the Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead over Harlandale in the first inning.

Cardinals catcher Ashley Ramirez started off the game with a base hit. Ramirez advanced on a sacrifice bunt from April Rodriguez. With two outs, senior Gabby Geigenmiller walked and shortstop Regina Sanchez (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) followed with an RBI single.

Southside led 1-0 with one out in the bottom of the inning when Harlandale freshman catcher Brianna Heredia (3-for-4, 2 RBIs) collected the first of her three hits. Heredia was forced at second base on Brittany Gonzalez’s grounder. However, Gonzales scored the tying run on an error.

Harlandale gained the lead in the third inning. Winning pitcher Stephanie Lopez stated the inning by sending a drive over the second baseman’s head into right field. That brought up Heredia, who laced a triple that landed inches inside the left-field line. Ahead 2-1, Gonzalez got the Indians’ third run home with another grounder.

The eventual winning run came in the fourth when Sabrina Esparza was struck by a pitch and came around to score.

Trailing 4-1, Southside again showed its moxie.

Geigenmiller led off with a single. Sanchez then brought the Cardinals within 4-2 with an RBI triple. Herrera cut Southside’s deficit to a run, driving in Sanchez with a base hit.

Lopez escaped the threat without further damage. The senior induced three straight grounders to leave the bases stocked with Cardinals.

Heredia scored her second run of the day after drawing a walk in the fifth. Indians clean-up hitter Jackie Espinoza produced a key base hit as Harlandale’s lead grew to 5-3.

Southside’s Sanchez ranged from her shortstop position to make a diving stop on Amanda Esparza’s grounder headed up the middle of the diamond. Despite the outstanding play, Esparza beat out the infield single. She scored the Indians’ last run of the regular season on Heredia’s soaring double to center field.

Southside finished in sixth place in 29-4A.

Harlandale blanked Floresville 6-0 Saturday in the third-place tiebreaker. The Indians will play Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway (21-8) 7 p.m. this Saturday at the Northside ISD Field No. 1.

FOR A FULL STORY ON SOUTHSIDE VS. HARLANDALE softball (April 19, 2013 @ Frank Tejeda Complex), click here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Harlandale-softball-team-shoots-past-Southside-4453963.php

Local baseball and softball results (April 19-20, 2013)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Saturday’s scores

BASEBALL

District 28-5A

Antonian 9,  Central Catholic 5

SOFTBALL

TAPPS District 3-4A Tournament

Championship

Victoria St. Joseph 5, Holy Cross 1

Friday’s scores

SOFTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge 14, Highlands 5

Burbank 9, Lanier 7

Edison 14, Jefferson 4

District 28-3A

Sam Houston at Poteet

District 29-4A

Harlandale 6, Southside 3

Medina Valley 7, Floresville 2

NOTE: Harlandale and Floresville tie for 3rd place

McCollum 12, Kennedy 2

Uvalde 15, Memorial 0

Non-district

Incarnate Word 11, East Central 2

BASEBALL

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll 5, Steele 3

South San 6, East Central 1

Southwest 3, Corpus Christi King 2

District 28-4A

Brennan 14, Edison 3

Burbank 6, Jefferson 5

Lanier 13, Brackenridge 11

District 28-3A

Sam Houston at Poteet

District 29-4A

Harlandale 8,  Southside 4

McCollum 7, Kennedy 6

Medina Valley 10, Floresville 0

Uvalde 11, Memorial 1

Non-district

Antonian 18, Highlands 4

SOFTBALL: Edison edges Brennan in 28-4A on magical day

By Mike Considine

On a day meant for reflection, Edison extended the legacy of its former coach while adding another chapter to its recent history.

In District 28-4A, Edison (13-15-2, 9-2) knocked Brennan (15-11, 9-3) out of first place Tuesday with a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. The outburst allowed the Golden Bears (not to be confused with Brennan’s Bears) to snare an 11-10 victory at Mary Ann Villarreal Field No. 1.

The win was especially meaningful as it was the first annual Pitch For the Cure game to benefit breast cancer and raise awareness of the disease research. Former Edison coach Villarreal died of breast cancer in 2010.

The loss completed Brennan’s district season, so Edison is assured of at least a tie for first place for the second-straight year under coach Aimee Silva. The Golden Bears can win an outright title with a victory over Jefferson (13-14-1, 7-4) 7:15 p.m. Friday at Villarreal Field No. 2.

(The girls) worked really hard every day,” Silva said.

The Golden Bears won their third-consecutive game and seventh district win in a row, since losing back-to-back games March 13 and 14.

Edison’s Celeste Vela was the winning pitcher in a game of momentum swings. The Golden Bears rode their first-place showdown adrenaline to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. They added two more runs in the second to counter a run from Brennan.

The Bears then caught a wave of their own. A four-run third helped Brennan build a 10-6 lead by its half of the sixth.

Edison was within two runs when the inning ended, helping it to secure the win with another offensive infusion in its last at-bat.

I think they just gave themselves the opportunity to get in position to score,” Silva said.

In typical Golden Bears style, they put the ball in play and capitalized on the outcome.

With bases loaded and none out in the seventh, No. 9 hitter Mari Quinones hit into a force play. Brennan got the lead runner out at the plate, but an errant return throw to third base put Edison within 10-8. Brittany Salinas scored on the play.

With Quinones at second base and April Escobedo at third, Vela smacked a two-run single that gave Edison the walkoff win as well as made herself the winning pitcher.

We had been struggling at the bottom of the lineup,” Silva said. “It ended up that our No. 9 hitter came through that inning. When we got to the top of the lineup, I knew we’d score some runs.”

It was the fourth straight year that Edison has either won or shared the district championship. The streak extends to Villarreal’s last Golden Bears team in 2010.

SOFTBALL: East Central, Southwest share first in 28-5A

EC rides Strunk no-hitter to share of first title in nearly a decade, while Southwest slams Steele for fourth in row

By Mike Considine

For a team that hadn’t won a district title in possibly a decade, East Central surely did it in style.

From sophomore pitcher Madison Strunk’s first career no-hitter to the postgame Gatorade shower with a Silly String topping, the Hornets (20-10, 8-2) put their stamp on the occasion. Undoubtedly, there was plenty for the team to celebrate.

“That was more than a senior game,” Hornets senior left fielder Stacia Lamey said, referring to the pregame Senior Night ceremony. “This was everybody going for a district championship. We started strong and we wanted to finish strong.”

East Central’s 5-0 victory over Corpus Christi King (21-11, 5-5) Tuesday on its home field enabled the Hornets to clinch a first-place tie with Southwest (29-5, 8-2) on the final day of the District 28-5A season. The Dragons also held on to their share to first for a fourth-consecutive championship, blasting Steele (17-12, 5-5) 11-2 at Southwest.

“I’m not sure,” fourth-year East Central coach Bryan Waller said, referring to the Hornets’ previous district title, “but I would say it’s a good 8-10 years.”

Southwest is No. 4 in the Express-News area rankings. East Central is No. 9.

For East Central, claiming a share of the 28-5A title was the culmination of a four-year progression for the Hornets’ seniors. Five years ago, when they were in eighth grade, East Central didn’t win a district game. Now they’re in the playoffs for the third-straight season.

The Hornets will be the district’s No. 1 seed ahead of Southwest because they defeated the Dragons in both head-to-head meetings this year.

“My main joy is to see the development that each class of seniors has been able to produce,” Waller said. “This year’s seniors have developed and became leaders, just like last year’s seniors did and the seniors did when they were sophomores.

“Each successive class has striven to get better, to make us district champs. It’s gone step by step.”

Strunk picked up where she left off last Friday at South San. The sophomore allowed just one hit in that outing.

The Mustangs had seven baserunners and three moved into scoring position as a result of two of the Hornets’ three errors. Strunk walked two and struck out three.

“I’ve had a lot of shutouts, but this is my first no-hitter,” she said. “I could have had a no-hitter last game against South San. But I focus on my pitches, rather than how many hits they have. I let my defense work, rather than trying for strikeouts.”

Strunk retired 10 Mustangs batters in a row, beginning with the Hornets’ double play that ended the third inning. Sophomore third baseman Haydi Bugarin speared a grounder, threw home for catcher Hailey Miller to force out a potential run and Miller sent her throw to first baseman Taylor Doege in time to beat the batter.

The streak continued until Dominique Salinas was safe on an error, trying to bunt her way on to lead off the seventh.

“I go at it pitch-by-pitch,” Strunk explained. “I don’t think too far ahead. If you win every inning, you’re going to win the game.”

Strunk induced a line out to second base that froze Salinas at first, and East Central finished off King with their second double play of the game from shortstop Alexis Macias to second baseman Hailey Reynolds to Doege.

Doege pitched a no-hitter against Reagan in a 16-0 win Feb. 26.

“This is Madison’s first no-hitter, but she was close to a perfect game against South San,” Waller said. “Now her and Taylor have both pitched no-hitters this year.”

East Central, which won its sixth-consecutive game, didn’t break the ice until the third inning. With the Hornets and Mustangs locked in a scoreless tie, there was some anxiousness among the Hornets’ ranks until senior leadoff hitter Kirsten Wiatrek drew a walk, stole second and scored on Bugarin’s double.

“It was very close,” said Lamey, who finished 3-for-3 at the plate with 3 RBIs. “We were just waiting for somebody to score. It was a lot more nerve-wracking that way.”

Bugarin (1-for-2, RBI) took third on the throw to the plate and came in on a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.

“We started out playing strong defense,” Waller said. “We were a little slow in getting runs, but then we had that big rally in the third. That took a little bit of pressure off Madison, and we continued to play strong defense behind her.”

Doege and Strunk re-stocked the bases for East Central with consecutive singles. Each advanced on Macias’ sacrifice bunt. That brought up Lamey, who lifted a two-run single to right field that gave Strunk a more than ample four-run cushion to work with.

“Scoring those runs just hyped us up,” Strunk said, “but we knew, just because we had the lead, (King) wasn’t going to give up. We had to keep it going.”

Maintaining and expanding leads is a topic that has been addressed during East Central’s pep talks.

“When we got ahead 3-0, we’d starting shutting down,” Lamey said. “That’s been our main focus this year, to keep coming at (opponents). That had always been our problem in the past.”

Lamey, who doubled in the second inning, also had a hand in the Hornets’ next run. Reynolds drove a long double into the left-center field gap with one out in the fifth. The senior followed, right on cue, with a base hit to center that increased the Hornets’ lead to 5-0.

The Hornets’ fifth run didn’t merely guarantee that the East Central coach soon would be covered in Gatorade and Silly String. It, fittingly, enabled Waller to sub in seniors Laura Borrego, Courtney Strzelczyk and Michaela Valdez for pinch-hit at-bats in the sixth inning.

“This senior class is a very fun one to be around,” Waller said. “They’re friends on and off the field. I know they’ll stay in touch after graduation.”

The closest King came to a hit was a deep line drive with one out in the sixth inning. Lamey was in position to snare the shot in the webbing of her glove, preventing an extra-base hit.

“We’ve had a lot of pep talks this year,” Lamey said. “Coach Waller told us a few games ago that we had to win every game (to finish first), and now we’ve done that. When you have a pitcher like Madison, it gives you a lot of confidence.”

The Hornets will face Warren (15-11-2), which finished fourth in District 27-5A, in the bi-district round. Details will be decided later.

“It was big, because of Senior Night and because we were playing for the district title,” Strunk said. “We were playing not just for the seniors, but to (gain momentum) to go on into the playoffs.”

Southwest

The Dragons wasted no time in establishing their dominance against Steele. They struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Southwest had an even bigger knockout punch waiting. The Dragons erupted for eight runs in the fourth to squelch the Knights’ hopes for an upset that would have assured them the No. 3 seed in 28-5A. Steele tied King for third.

Steele scored both of its runs in the fifth, with help from a home run by Nala Quevido. Southwest junior pitcher Kamarie Vidales limited the Knights to four hits. The Dragons amassed nine.

Southwest will draw either Brandeis (20-6) or Holmes (19-9) in the bi-district round. The 27-5A teams are currently tied for third place.

Local baseball and softball scores (April 15-17, 2013)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Wednesday’s scores

BASEBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan 6, Highlands 0

TAPPS 2-5A

St. Anthony at  Central Catholic

Tuesday’s scores

SOFTBALL

District 28-5A

East Central 5, Corpus Christi King 0 (EC: Madison Strunk no-hitter)

Southwest 11, Steele 2

NOTE: East Central and Southwest tied for first place

Corpus Christi Carroll 15, South San 3

District 28-4A

Brackenridge 11, Lanier 0

Edison 11, Brennan 10 (Ed.: 3-run rally in bottom 7th clinches share of 1st)

Jefferson 17, Burbank 6

District 29-4A

Harlandale 24, Memorial 5

Medina Valley 11, McCollum 5

Southside 3, Kennedy 2

Uvalde 7, Floresville 2

District 28-3A

LaVernia 17, Sam Houston 0

TAPPS District 3-4A Tournament

Holy Cross 12, Austin St. Dominic Savio 2

BASEBALL

District 28-5A

Steele 18, East Central 0

Corpus Christi King 5, South San 4

District 28-4A

Brackenridge 10, Jefferson 9 (Brack winning run in top 6th)

Burbank 5, Edison 4

District 29-4A

Harlandale 18, Memorial 0

Kennedy 5, Southside 3

Medina Valley 13, McCollum 0

Uvalde 9, Floresville 2

District 28-3A

LaVernia 14, Sam Houston 0

Monday’s scores

SOFTBALL

Non-district

MacArthur 15, Highlands 0

BASEBALL

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll 10, Southwest 2