HARLINGEN — With Tuesday’s temperatures dropping, Harlingen South senior pitcher Kaitlynn De La Fuente’s arm heated up.
The righty tossed a gem, going six innings while fanning eight batters and yielding one unearned run en route to a 14-1, six-inning win against Harlingen High in the teams’ District 32-6A opener.
The Lady Hawks (1-0) will now meet Los Fresnos while the Lady Cardinals (0-1) will host Brownsville Rivera on Friday.
“Everything was working for me tonight,” said De La Fuente. “My curve was working and I was able to throw off a few girls. I used my changeup and screw ball; overall it was a solid performance. It’s important for us to get this win and start strong in district play.”
South racked up its 14 runs on 13 hits with big innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
“It was a well-played ball game; the score wasn’t as indicative of the way the game was played,” said South coach Elias Martinez. “Coach Nora Aguilar is doing a great job with her team and they’re only going to get better.”
De La Fuente was also solid at the plate as she went4 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. De La Fuente and Melba Rodriguez fueled a four-run fourth inning that put the Lady Hawks ahead 6-0.
“She (De La Fuente) was phenomenal,” Martinez said. “Right now we’re hurting, but she is stepping up big time for us and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”
The fifth inning was more of the same for the Lady Hawks. Alyssa Ledesma drove in a run on an RBI single while Kelsey Rivera swatted a two-run RBI double that put the game out of reach at 9-1.
Junior shortstop Krystal Gonzales chipped in a 2 for 3 night with a walk and two runs scored.
“It feels great to start district play with a win,” Gonzales said. “Tonight, I had a couple of hits and they came when we needed it. This district is tough and for us to get the win is big, and we are having fun. Our team is amazing and our bond is strong.”