CORPUS CHRISTI — After Brownsville Veterans Memorial senior Mia Anzaldua struck out 21 batters during an 11-inning loss to Corpus Christi Calallen in Game 1, Lady Chargers coach Rayner Cardenas hoped reliever Mariangel Barbosa could give him three solid innings in Game 2 before going back to his top arm.
While Barbosa looked solid early, allowing two hits and no runs through two scoreless innings, but things unraveled during the bottom of the third.
The Wildcats put up six runs in the inning, putting the Lady Chargers in a hole too big to climb out of as they lost 8-4 in Game 2 of their best-of-three Class 5A area series Friday at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi.
Calallen won the series 2-0 and moves on the regional quarterfinals. It racked up seven hits during the third inning and scored three of their six runs on a trio of BVM errors.
Cardenas said the inning was among the worst of the season for his defense.
“Our plan was to try to keep the game close for three innings,” he said. “If we were in the game at that point, we were going to come in with Mia and see what we had. Unfortunately, we played the worst inning of the season. We gave up six runs on a lot of errors. Unfortunately, that was the difference in the game.”
Barbosa gave up 13 hits, four earned runs and struck out five in five innings of work in the loss. Calallen’s Lizette Del Angel allowed seven hits, two earned runs and struck out four in a complete-game win.
Anzaldua did take the circle during the bottom of the sixth after the Lady Chargers put up three runs in the top half of the inning to make it 8-3, and struck out the side.
“As a senior, there was a lot of emotion going through all of our heads,” Anzaldua said. “Just to finish it off, knowing that we didn’t leave it 8-0 showed that we competed. Unfortunately, everything played out the way it played out.”
The Lady Chargers added their fourth run during the seventh inning on a sac fly. All four of the Lady Chargers’ runs came in the last two innings, which ultimately became the silver lining of the game.
“I’m most proud of the effort the girls gave, being down six in Game 2, knowing the situation,” Cardenas said. “I’m really proud that our kids showed a lot of grit and fight and resiliency. They were determined to represent the school and the district. They were determined to scratch off runs. And what a fitting way for Mia, being her senior year and graduating. We gave ourselves an opportunity and being able to have her go out in the circle. She carried us all season, and for her to go out in the circle was poetic.”
After Calallen scored its first run on an error, freshman Katherine Flores brought in two more runners on a single to make it 3-0. An error at third base allowed two more Wildcats runs to cross, and a Maddie Flores single made it 6-0 before Barbosa got out of the inning two batters later.
Calallen added two more insurance runs during the fifth inning to make it 8-0.
Anzaldua brought in the first two BVM runs on a triple, and Cristina Gonzalez brought her in on a groundout to make it 8-3. Anzaldua’s sac fly brought the final run of the game.
Anzaldua finished with three RBIs to lead the Lady Chargers. Flores and Myranda Menn led Calallen with a combined five hits and three RBIs.