Solid hitting, pitching lead Lady Panthers past Lady Cardinals 9-0

HARLINGEN — After foul weather last week postponed the contest twice, the Harlingen Lady Cardinals finally got to host the Weslaco Lady Panthers in a District 32-6A showdown on Monday evening.

And while the rain held off for once, a deluge of runs by the Lady Panthers still poured down upon Lady Cardinals Field as Weslaco cruised past Harlingen 9-0 to improve to 3-0 in league play.

The loss, meanwhile, dropped the Lady Cards to 1-2.

After jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead after 1½ innings of play, the Lady Panthers blew the game wide open in the top of the fourth after Alyssa Escamilla drove in three runs on an inside-the-park home run to make it 6-0 Weslaco.

With two outs, and runners on second and third, Escamilla punched the ball to shallow left just in front of a diving Briana Garza, who narrowly missed making the spectacular catch as the ball rolled behind her allowing Escamilla to circle the bases for the homer.

The Lady Panthers also got a solid pitcher performances from Taylor Tafolla, who allowed a couple of hits to pick up the win, and Ashley Sada, who gave up just one hit through three innings of work to pick up the save.

Despite the impressive victory, Weslaco head coach Mario Rodriguez downplayed the outcome and urged his players to remain focused on the long season ahead.

“We had a couple of errors and we still have to clean up our mistakes,” he said. “We executed things that we work on in practice, but we still let some things get away from us.”

Meanwhile, Lady Cards head coach Cassandra Hernandez was disappointed with the way things transpired Monday, but remained optimistic.

“We have to always adjust and today was a little bit rough,” she said. “But, on the positive side, (starting pitcher) Skylar (Macias) had a solid outing and didn’t give up too many hard hits. Our defense just wasn’t awake today.”

The Lady Cards did nearly score a run in the bottom half of the second when Dre Arriaga hammered a shot to deep left that appeared to sail over the fence for a home run.

However, upon further review, the ball actually found its way into a small hole in the outfield screen, prompting the umpire to rule it a ground-rule double.

With Arriaga now at second and the hometown fans cheering loudly, the Lady Cards looked primed to cut into Weslaco’s lead. However, Tafolla put an end to any threat as she struck out the ensuing batter to close out the inning.

The Lady Cards get a chance to quickly turn things around as they play again tonight at Weslaco East at 7 then again on Thursday at 11 a.m. when they host Los Fresnos.

As for the Lady Panthers, they are at Brownsville Rivera today then host Harlingen South on Thursday at 7 p.m.