MISSION — The 24th annual Mission Fastpitch softball tournament got underway Thursday and San Benito, Harlingen South and Rio Hondo picked up day-one wins while Harlingen fell in their tournament opener.
Action will continue today through Saturday.
HARLINGEN SOUTH: The Lady Hawks got their tournament play off on the right foot with a 17-0 shutout win over PSJA Southwest.
The trio of Kaitylnn De La Fuente, Kelsey Rivera and Krystal Gonzales provided the pop at the plate as they combined for seven runs on seven hits.
South wasted no time by taking advantage of Southwest’s miscues and scored seven runs in the first inning. The big frame was highlighted by a Melba Rodriguez two-run RBI double and a bases-clearing triple by De La Fuente, who went 2 for 3 with two runs. Rivera, meanwhile, was a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs and a pair of singles. Gonzales capped it off by going 2 for 2 with two RBIs.
South will now play McAllen Memorial at 9 this morning.
RIO HONDO: The Lady Bobcats’ offense didn’t waste any time getting runs across the plate as Nayeli Garcia and Dominique De Jesus drove in a combined four runs in the first inning in a 6-3 win over Weslaco East.
The Lady Wildcats did not go away quietly, however, as they scored one run in the second and used an Amanda Aguirre two-run homer to try to rally.
“Coming into this first week we want to be healthy,” said Rio Hondo coach Brett Esparza. “We got bit by the injury bug a little bit, but we get to see some of the younger girls get some playing time. The good thing is the younger girls have been stepping up and we have three freshmen staring, and it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together and finding a way for the kids to gel.”
Up next for the Lady Cats is a game against Sharyland Pioneer at 10:30 a.m. today.
HARLINGEN HIGH: The Lady Cardinals could not capitalize on a bases-loaded opportunity in the first inning against Mercedes and it eventually made a difference as the Lady Tigers used a four-run third to pick up a 5-2 win.
Emily Garcia provided the lone run for the Lady Cards with a solo homer in the second inning.
Harlingen will now meet Laredo Alexander at noon.
“This is what I like about tournaments and this is where we will learn because we get to see different teams that are not in our district, so it’s a good practice for us,” said Harlingen coach Nora Aguilar.
SAN BENITO: Senior Joanna Gonzalez swatted a pair of doubles and scored three runs as San Benito blanked Laredo Nixon 17-0 in their tournament opener. Gonzalez finished the night 3 for 3.
The Lady Hounds’ offense erupted for a seven-run first inning and didn’t look back from there.
The offense picked up 12 hits in the contest, batted around twice and scored 10 runs in the second inning.
Jordan Ramos went 2 for 3 while the top of the order Audrey Huerta and Deztiny Hernandez went a combined 3 for 4 with four runs.
The Lady Hounds will now meet PSJA at noon. San Benito has won the last two tournament titles and three in the past five years.
“Tonight the girls showed discipline at the plate and put together some quality at bats,” said San Benito coach Denise Lira. “They did a great job of putting the runs together. Megan Cavazos did a great job for us in the circle. She kept the hitters off balance and she has been working hard in practice, and it showed tonight.”