SAN BENITO — In an early season district bout Thursday, it was Harlingen South that delivered the knockout punch with a 15-hit, 13-run performance against San Benito.
The Lady Hawks scored early and often and cruised to a 13-0 win in five innings at Lady Greyhounds Field.
With the victory, South improved to 4-0 in 32-6A play and will next host Weslaco High on Tuesday. Meanwhile, San Benito (3-1) dropped its first district contest and takes on Brownsville Hanna next week.
“It was a heck of a ball game; the girls played their hearts out and it was a total team effort,” said South coach Elias Martinez. “We’re proud of them; every game is tough and we are fortunate to come out with a win tonight.”
The Lady Hawks set the tone in the first inning. Natasha Canales led off with a single, followed by a Krystal Gonzales walk. Christina Arellano broke the scoring open on an RBI single, then Alyssa Ledesma capped off the frame with a two-run double and held a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
In the circle, senior Kaitlynn De La Fuente dealt a complete-game shutout. The righty kept the Lady Hounds’ offense off balance all night. Through five innings of work, De La Fuente fanned four, walked one and allowed just two hits.
“A lot of my movement pitches have been working for me,” De La Fuente said. “It’s something I have been working on in practice. To get a big lead early helps. At first I was nervous, but once we scored the runs I felt better and settled in.”
Already leading 5-0, it was the fourth inning that saw the Lady Hawks’ offense explode for a six-run, four-hit frame.
Arellano drove in two runs on a double, followed by a bases-clearing triple by Melba Rodriguez that put the game out of reach at 11-0 in the top of the fourth.
Arellano finished the night 3 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs.
In the fifth inning, South added a pair of runs as Kytana Muniz belted a solo homer making it 13-0. Muniz had a strong performance at the plate, finishing 3 for 4 with two runs and the home run.
“This is a big win for us. We split with San Benito last year, so we really wanted this tonight,” Muniz said. “We came and took it from them. Offensively, we played great and on defense we got the job done.”