BROWNSVILLE – On Tuesday night, as the drizzle began to come down, there was nothing that was going to come between the Brownsville Vetearns Lady Chargers and victory.
With a comfortable 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, Chargers fans were cautiously optimistic, remembering their first encounter against San Benito, where the Lady ’Hounds rallied from five runs down in the sixth for the win.
However, this time was different.
Seven innings of solid pitching between Cassie Valdez and Mia Anzaldua produced 12 strikeouts and a 4-2 victory over the top ranked team in the state. The loss was San Benito’s first of the season.
“There was a lot of motivation from the first game because we thought that we dominated the game up until the last innings where we had some errors,” said Veterans head coach Rayner Cardenas. “That hiccup motivated us to prepare for tonight.”
Valdez had a big night going 3 for 3 from the plate with two RBIs.
“It’s a huge win because they’re really our biggest competition right now and with them being number one we wanted to prove everyone wrong,” said Valdez. “With us being the underdogs, we just came out here and did our job and worked as a team.”
For San Benito, the win steak ends at 24 straight, but San Benito head coach Kristy Leal said the loss will serve as a lesson.
“Hats off to her (Valdez), that kid can pitch,” said Leal. “They showed up tonight and, unfortunately, the ball didn’t roll in our favor, but it’s something that were going to learn from and I’m sure that we will bounce back.”
Despite the loss, it was San Benito that got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second after Meagan Ybarra hit a ball down the center of the park, causing an error from the centerfielder and Alina Jasso to score from second base.
However, the lead did not last long as the Lady Chargers responded with two runs of their own, taking a 2-1 lead into the third.
In the bottom of the third Brownsville struck again after a stand up double RBI from Valdez brought home Rheana Gomez to stretch the lead to 3-1.
In the top of the sixth, with pressure beginning to build on San Benito, the Lady Hounds force a 1-3 error as Destiny Hernandez finds home plate to cut the lead 4-2.
However, Anzaldua replaces Valdez midway through the sixth and strikes out two batters while not giving up a hit.
The Lady Greyhounds will get a chance to rebound from their first loss of the season against Brownsville Lopez on Friday at home at 7 p.m.