High School Softball Regionals Cougarettes romp to fifth straight regional final berth
New Braunfels Canyon scores 10 runs in first inning and never looks back as it pops Harl-ingen South in Region IV-6A semifinal series.
By Terrence Thomas
New Braunfels Canyon scored early and often and drubbed Harlingen South 16-1 Saturday in Game 2 of a Class 6A regional semifinal series at Tuloso-Midway High School in Corpus Christi.
The Cougarettes swept the se-ries and advanced to the Region IV-6A final for the fifth straight season and for the ninth time in the past 11 years. They will play Austin High, which swept its fourth-round series vs. Edinburg Vela and during the postseason has beaten area teams New Braunfels, Warren and Judson.
Canyon (34-6) took control from the start, tallying 10 runs in the first inning. It would extend its advantage to 14-0 after three frames on junior Hunter Vestal’s three-run home run.
The Cougarettes, state final-ists a year ago, won 8-0 in Fri-day’s Game 1 behind pitcher Aliyah Pritchett’s one-hitter, and outscored Harlingen South 24-1 over the two contests.
Fredericksburg 11-4, Rio Hondo 0-2: In Beeville, the Bat-tlin’ Billies won a doubleheader to capture a Class 4A regional semifinal series.
Fredericksburg advanced to the regional final for the second time and the first time since 2009, when it was in Region I and lost to Gatesville.
The Battlin’ Billies will face Navarro with a berth to the UIL state tournament on the line. Na-varro swept its fourth-round se-ries vs. Boerne.
In Saturday’s decisive Game 3, Fredericksburg used small ball and a solo home run from fresh-man Kaylee Reyes to prevail. Rio Hondo led 1-0 after one be-fore Reyes hit a solo home run to tie it in the second. Fredericks-burg claimed a 2-1 lead in the third on sophomore Ashlyn Weinheimer’s double.
Rio Hondo tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, before the Battlin’ Billies added one run apiece in the fourth and seventh innings with strategic bunting and aggressive base running.
Fredericksburg forced the se-ries to a winner-take-all contest by dominating Game 2. Wein-heimer and Reyes each had three-run home runs, with the former’s shot ending the contest in five innings by run rule.
The Battlin’ Billies scored a run in each of the first three frames to gain momentum.