Lady ‘Hounds surge late for win

SAN BENITO — Resilient was the one word to describe the San Benito Lady ‘Hounds on Tuesday night.

With their backs against the wall and trialing by four runs, it was two-out lighting that struck.

Freshman standout Jaelynn Huerta and senior AJ Jasso swatted homers, and junior Kari Cisneros provided the go-ahead two-run double during the sixth inning to help seal a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Los Fresnos.

“Throughout the night, coach wanted us to stay in the zone and to keep our hands level at the plate,” Cisneros said. “And that is exactly what we did and even though we didn’t score early we were able to put the bat to the ball. All night we kept fighting, and when I hit that double I thought to myself, ‘Finally.’ When I saw the ball hit the gap, I just saw the pitch and I took it, and I was able to pull through for the team.”

The Lady ‘Hounds will ride the momentum into the second half of district play with a 4-1 record and travel to Harlingen High at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, Los Fresnos remains in good shape with a 3-2 record and plays host to Harlingen South at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

“The girls continued to go after it,” San Benito coach Denise Lira said. “We just talked about it. Maybe we weren’t scoring runs or producing, but we were just chipping away little by little and we stayed aggressive at the plate, and they kept trying to find a way.”

Los Fresnos grabbed an early 2-0 lead during the first inning off an RBI from Reba Reyes. The Lady Falcons’ offense worked San Benito starter Nana Carrizales deep into counts and applied the pressure early.

After a bumpy start in the first, Carrizales settled in and retired 10 in a row before yielding a one-out base hit during the fourth inning. The hit was followed by a two-out homer from Aileen Avelar that pushed the lead 4-1.

Carrizales finished the night in the circle with 13 strikeouts, five hits and five runs, and she issued just one walk.

“We knew that (Carrizales) has a nice spin on the ball and likes to throw a riseball,” Los Fresnos coach Traci Blackmon said. “So I kept telling our hitters to go after the low pitches and I thought we did a great job on forcing her to throw a lot of pitches, but unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t go our way.”

Avelar later cranked her second homer of the night to cut the lead 6-5 during the seventh inning. Avelar finished 2-for-3 with one strikeout. Reyes went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and run scored.

Avelar’s second homer was the 33rd homer as a team. The previous record was 32 homers in a season.

“I’m really proud of that tonight,” Blackmon said of the homers. “We are in good shape. We need to win the games we are supposed to win, and this year this district is just as tough week in and week out. But I’m happy on where we are at the midway point.”

The Lady ‘Hounds’ rally came during the fifth and sixth innings. Senior April Garcia drew a two-out walk followed by a sacrifice bunt from Cisneros that set the stage for Huerta’s two-run homer. During the sixth, Jasso hit a leadoff homer followed by the two-run double from Cisneros.

“We are in a strong district and every game is tough, but going into the second round we are keeping it at a one-game-at-a-time approach,” Lira said. “We have seen everyone and everyone has seen us, so we need to step our game just as much as we head into the second round.”