By ARMANDO GARZA
Special to the NEWS
HARLINGEN — Every so often, someone has to step up. Someone has to come through with a play.
And in a 2-0 ballgame on Tuesday night on the road, San Benito’s Mel Gonzalez did exactly that.
In the top of the 7th inning, Gonzalez took an 0-2 pitch and crushed a three-run homer to break open the close game and ultimately give the Lady ’Hounds a 6-0 win over Harlingen South at Dixieland Field.
San Benito (16-1 overall,6-0 in District 32-6A) got all it could handle from South early on. The girls took a 1-0 lead when freshman Joanna Gonzalez came around to score in the third inning. Gonzalez walked and scored in the fourth to make it 2-nil Lady ’Hounds.
With the game nip-and-tuck through the early going, it was virtually another night at the office for SB senior ace Crystal Castillo, who cruised along by firing a complete game 2-hitter, striking out nine and walking just one on just 88 total pitches. Castillo has been in a zone for most if not all of the season and showed it again on Tuesday, working her repertoire of pitches to near perfection.
In the seventh, Castillo aided her own cause by reaching on an infield error to start the seventh inning. Then Stephanie Contreras also got aboard via another Lady Hawk infield miscue. Kim Harper reached safely to score Castillo’s runner to put two on with just one out.
That set up Gonzalez, whose three-run blast gave Castillo and the Lady ’Hounds the insurmountable cushion that South just could not get over.
The win gives San Benito a comfortable edge in the District 32-6A race with one home date versus Brownsville Rivera left in the first round of the league loop. The second half of district play begins next week against Brownsville Hanna.
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