Softball notes: Lady Hawks, Cards, Cats fair well in weekend tournament

LA JOYA — At the annual La Joya Softball Tournament, the Harlingen South Lady Hawks cruised through pool play on Friday by winning each of their first three games against Zapata, PSJA North and Falfurrias.

And on Saturday, they beat Rio Hondo to earn a spot in the semifinals against District 31-6A rival Los Fresnos.

The Lady Falcons used a pair of homers from Carla Ortiz to help lead Los Fresnos to an 8-3 win against the Lady Hawks.

South got its offense from junior shortstop Krystal Gonzales, who swatted a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the first.

But in the second inning, Natasha Canales platted Alyssa Ledesma to help the Lady Falcons tie the game at three. They then scored two in the third and two in the fourth to seal the win.

“Overall it was a great tournament for us,” said Harlingen South coach Elias Martinez. “We went 4-1 and we lost to Los Fresnos, and that is a testament to how tough our district is. We’re getting better and getting over our injuries.

“We hit the ball well, but we just hit the ball at them and we just need to keep swinging. We played tough the whole tournament and we played well both on offense and defense, but there are some things we need to correct but we will be OK.”

Senior ace Kaitlynn De La Fuente received all-tournament honors. On Saturday De La Fuente went 4 for 6 with three runs scored.

Up next for Harlingen South is a non-district tilt at Edinburg North on Tuesday.

Rio Hondo: The young Lady Cats rolled through their pool play on Friday with wins against Brownsville Hanna, Roma and Donna.

In the championship bracket against Los Fresnos, the Lady Cats trailed 2-0 after two innings. But it was the third inning where the offense found its grove and plated eight runs to take an 8-2 lead.

The Lady Falcons rallied thanks to a pair of three-run innings in both the fourth and fifth and won the game on a walk-off base hit by Carla Ortiz.

“This weekend was a good example of the growth our team needs,” said Rio Hondo coach Brett Esparza. “Our pitching was excellent and our kids are seeing the ball well at the plate. We need to place the focus inward on perfecting what makes us successful as we start district play on Tuesday.”

Rio Hondo will open up District 32-4A play on Tuesday against Progresso. Overall Rio Hondo went 3-2 in tournament play.

Harlingen High: The Lady Cardinals took part in the Brownsville ISD tournament and came out with a perfect 5-0 record, and beat McAllen Rowe 8-0 in the championship game.

Harlingen’s Mia Lopez received all-tournament honors.

The Lady Cards picked up wins against Hidalgo, Raymondville and Sharyland along the way to their tournament title.

The Lady Cards continue their season with a round robin tournament in Brownsville next week. They open up district play at home versus Harlingen South on March 6.

“The girls worked hard and as a team this weekend,” said Harlingen coach Nora Aguilar. “Each of them contributed in a big way. We put base hits together to win games. I couldn’t be more proud of this team coming together as one this weekend.”