Area teams play at Brownsville ISD tourney

BROWNSVILLE — This weekend’s Brownsville ISD softball tournament is packed with some of the top teams in the Valley and is also serving as a tuneup for some area teams as they prepare for the start of district play next week.

Lyford: Sophomore Jerrica Rojas twirled a gem in the circle for the Lady Bulldogs against PSJA High. Rojas fanned five in four innings of work and also provided a spark at the plate with a four-run third inning that helped Lyford to a 7-2 win in their tournament opener. In the second game of the twin bill, PSJA answered with a 5-2 win.

“I thought I did well in the circle and my pitches were working for me,” Rojas said. “My curve was working and it had some good movement. As a team, we did really well and we’re hoping to continue this throughout the tournament. I like these types of tournaments because they prepare us for our season.”

Hanna Garza checked in a 2 for 3 day at the plate with two runs scored while battery mate Clarisa Gonzalez drew two walks and scored a pair of runs.

Lyford trialed 2-1 heading into the third inning. Serena Rodriguez and Rojas provided the offense and took a 5-2 lead. Lyford later added a pair of runs in the fourth inning to seal the win.

The Lady Dogs will continue tournament play today against Brownsville Pace at 10 a.m. and Harlingen High at 2 p.m. with both games being played at Rivera High School.

“We hit the ball well today and our defense was a little rough considering the wind,” said Lyford coach Joey Rios. “Our pitching was great and our team chemistry and communication is coming along. It helps that we play tougher teams, it helps us get ready for district play and the postseason.”

Rio Hondo: The young Lady Cats continued to endure growing pains in the early portion of the season. In their tournament opener against Mercedes, Rio Hondo couldn’t generate any offense until the last inning.

Mercedes pitcher Keandra Rodriguez stymied the Lady Cats and used a four-run third inning and a pair of three-run innings in the fourth and fifth en route to a 14-5 win.

In their second game against Lopez, Rio Hondo rebounded with a 7-3 win against Lopez. Rio Hondo jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and leaned on Nayeli Garcia, who scored three runs and drew three walks in the win.

Rio Hondo will now meet Brownsville Hanna at 10 a.m. today at Hanna High School and will follow with a 2 o’clock contest against Edcouch-Elsa.

“We started out well against Mercedes, but they had a three-run inning and we got a little down on ourselves,” said Rio Hondo coach Brett Esparza. “Our inability to execute at the plate hurt us against a quality team like Mercedes.

“I’m glad the way the kids fought back and we finished strong with a win. We’re young and we’re taking our lumps, and hopefully we can get healthy and we’re looking forward to getting the younger girls more time and getting ready to continue district on Tuesday.”