NEWS Staff Report
But unfortunately, she had other ideas and slipped on green and black instead.
After San Benito’s sizzling, confident start that resulted in a 5-1 lead, San Antonio Southwest erupted for seven runs in a pivotal third inning and never trailed again as the Lady Dragons claimed a 9-6 win in Game 2 of their Region IV-5A regional semifinal series at Vernie & Blanche Hubert Field on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Southwest (33-9) swept the series 2-0 to exact revenge and moves on to the regional final, or Elite 8, for the first time in program history where it will face San Marcos. San Benito’s sixth trip to the Sweet 16 was short-lived and its season ends at 27-6.
After dropping Friday night’s series opener, the Lady ’Hounds appeared determined to not let that game speak for their superb season.
In the top of the first, Amber Jasso, in her final game for San Benito, drew a leadoff walk and came home on a big double from Dorothy Millan, also playing in her last game. Then, Clarissa Huerta walked to put two on. Sarah Martinez, Millan’s courtesy runner, scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Lady ’Hounds.
Southwest clawed back for a run in its first at-bat when Kristal Salinas, who singled to start the game, scored on a fielder’s choice.
In the third, all seemed well as the Lady ’Hounds looked in control. Stephanie Contreras reached on an error and Millan and Huerta walked to load the bases with nobody out. That chased Dragons starter Kamarie Vidales, who won Game 1, as she was replaced by Caitlin Terrazas. Contreras tagged up and scored for a 3-1 lead and Martinez, again running for Millan, scored on a fielder’s choice for a 4-1 advantage. Huerta later scored on an error as San Benito was in control 5-1.
However, in the home half of the third, a nightmarish inning was about to ensue.
Southwest scored seven runs in the frame, including a three-run homer from Gabby Flores, ousting SB starter Crystal Castillo in the process. Jasso came on to pitch for the first time in several weeks and got out of the inning, but the damage was done. The Dragons had an 8-5 lead and all of the momentum at that point.
The teams battled after that and San Benito’s final run came on a solo home run from Mel Gonzalez. Southwest got the run back in the sixth when Flores scored.
While the season suffered a premature ending, the girls received a round of applause and lauding from Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez, who had respect for San Benito, which eliminated Southwest in the same round back in 2011.