Lady Hounds have strong showing in Mission Fastpitch

MISSION — The San Benito Lady Hounds went 4-1 in tournament play, defeated Harlingen South 6-3 in the semifinals and went onto to beat Edinburg North 3-1 on Saturday in the Club Bracket Championship of the Mission Fastpitch Tournament.

Senior Joanna Gonzalez received all-tournament honors.

“I feel great, this was my last Mission tournament and I had fun with my team, and I’ll always remember being a part of this tournament,” Gonzalez said. “Playing against Edinburg was fun. I have friends on that team and I loved the intensity that we brought.”

En route to their win, the Lady Hounds picked up wins against Laredo Nixon, PSJA High, South and Edinburg North. San Benito’s only blemish came against Edinburg High.

“I think our team was put under some pressure situations throughout the tournament,” said San Benito coach Denise Lira. “The girls kept fighting, and they continued to fight and that is something you can’t coach all the time. It is something that comes from within them and that they bring every day. As a coaching staff, we’re happy to have a team that keeps fighting.”

In the semis, it was a District 32-6A preview between Harlingen South and San Benito. The Lady Hawks were looking to rebound after a 6-0 loss to Weslaco High on Friday while San Benito was also coming off its loss to Edinburg.

The Lady Hawks capitalized early with a three-run first inning that was led by a Kayla Rogers two-run single.

The Lady Hounds answered with a three-run inning of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Sarah Garcia laced in a two-out game-tying double to lead the charge.

In the second inning, a go-ahead Jordan Ramos RBI single gave the Lady Hounds the lead as the offense tacked on two more runs in the third inning to seal the 6-3 win.

In the finals against Edinburg North, San Benito relied on its veterans aces Gonzalez and Garcia, who pitched a complete game allowing just one run on three hits.

Gonzalez also provided a two-run go-ahead single in the third inning that gave the Lady Hounds a 3-1 lead. Garcia did the rest by retiring the final nine batters she faced.

“Overall, the hits came when they needed to and they came through in clutch situations,” Lira said. “Different girls made key plays throughout the weekend for us and right now it is looking very promising for us.”

Harlingen South, Harlingen and Rio Hondo fair well: The Lady Hawks finished the tournament with a 2-2 record. South got off to a strong start by beating PSJA Southwest and McAllen Memorial. But after the 2-0 start, South dropped its final two games against district opponents Weslaco and San Benito.

The Lady Hawks will now continue its non-district play on Tuesday against PSJA Memorial.

Harlingen High also finished with a 2-2 outing. The Lady Cards fell to Mercedes in their tournament opener on Thursday then rebounded with a win against PSJA North. On Friday, Harlingen fell to Weslaco East 2-0 and on Saturday Big Red finished with a 5-1 win against Brownsville Rivera.

The Lady Cards will now prepare for the Brownsville Tournament later this weekend.

Finally, Rio Hondo ended tournament play with a 2-2 mark and collected wins against Sharyland Pioneer and Weslaco East. On Friday the Lady Cats dropped a game to Mercedes before falling in the semifinals to Edinburg North on Saturday.

Up next for Rio Hondo is rematch with Edinburg North on Tuesday.