SINTON — San Benito’s season came to a surprising and sudden end Saturday afternoon at Sinton High School.
After taking a 1-0 series advantage with a Game 1 area-round win on Friday, South San Antonio won both games 2 and 3 to send the Lady Hounds home for the season.
San Benito ended the 2016-17 campaign at 24-7 and managed to go just one round deep this postseason.
“It’s tough to see our season come to an end, but that’s what happens when you don’t play your best softball in the playoffs,” said San Benito coach Kristy Leal. “Every mistake is magnified at this stage. Although the game didn’t end the way we hoped, we’re going to use this for motivation for next season.”
San Benito will lose four seniors to graduation, but will return a bevy of key starters including shortstop/pitcher Sarah Garcia and right fielder AJ Jasso.
South San Antonio came out swinging in Game 2 and looked very determined to avoid the series sweep. A two-run home run in the first inning gave the Lady Bobcats a quick 2-0 lead.
San Benito managed to score in the top half of the third inning to cut into the lead at 2-1, but that’s as close as the Lady Hounds got in an 8-4 defeat.
The Lady Bobcats answered the Lady Hounds’ third-inning score with a six-run fourth inning that extended their lead to 8-1.
Meanwhile, San Benito struggled to make the routine plays and simply could not find its offensive mojo.
The Lady Hounds chipped away at the Lady Cats’ lead with a run in each of the last four innings, but still fell shy of a comeback. The Lady Cats took full advantage of San Benito’s misuses in Game 2 to force a decisive third game.
In Game 3, the Lady Cats picked up where they left off, scoring six runs and batting around in the top of the first inning to shock the Lady Hounds. And much like in Game 2, San Benito couldn’t seem to get out of its own way.
Both games Saturday were very uncharacteristic of the Lady Hounds on both offensive and defensive ends. Their lone run in Game 2 came on an RBI single from Joanna Gonzalez that scored Sarah Garcia.
Meanwhile, the Lady Cats’ bats were on fire as they used another six-run third inning to put the game out of reach and take the 12-1 win.
With the series victory, The Lady Cats will now face Harlingen South later this week in the regional quarterfinals.