Rio Sports Live

Coastal Bend softball notes: High-stakes games highlight end of regular season

Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial’s Madeline Aguilar delivers a pitch in a game earlier this season at Cabaniss Field. The Lady Eagles take on Victoria West in a pivotal game Friday night. (PHOTO BY Arelia C. Williams / Special to RSL)

MARK MOLINA | Rio Sports Live

The final weekend of the high school softball regular season is here, meaning district races are reaching the finish line.

In District 29-5A the races are tight as Corpus Christi Carroll and Victoria West are tied atop the district standings at 13-2 with a game to go. Meanwhile, Corpus Christi Ray and Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial are playing for their postseason lives tied in fourth place with identical 9-6 records.

The fireworks start tonight as Veterans Memorial hosts Victoria West in a 5:30 p.m. contest at Cabaniss Field. 

The Lady Warriors edged out the Lady Eagles 4-1 back on March 26. 

While Victoria West is riding high following a 12-2, five-inning home win over Carroll, Veterans Memorial has dropped its last two games.

Veterans head coach Paula Salinas says the district has been a grind and expects no less on Friday night.

“Victoria West is a tough team and there are all kinds of stakes out there,” she said. “This district has been kinda crazy all season, going back and forth, but here we are. We’re in this position and we have to go out and do what we got to do. We have to take care of business and that’s the bottom line.”

Turning the page to 10 a.m. Saturday, Carroll will look to rebound from the loss as it hosts Corpus Christi King, a team the Lady Tigers defeated 14-0 in late March. 

Corpus Christi Carroll’s Vanessa Quiroga delivers a pitch in a game this season. (PHOTO BY Arelia C. Williams / Special to RSL)

Flour Bluff finished the district season 11-5 and is locked into the No. 3 seed.

ALICE CONFIDENT, FACES ADVERSITY

Down in 31-4A, Calallen, Tuloso-Midway and Robstown are preparing for the postseason, Alice and Zapata are knotted at 4-6 and will compete in a play-in game for the district’s No. 4 seed.

The Lady Coyotes have dropped their last two games and six of their last seven, including a 4-2 home loss to the Lady Hawks earlier this month, but head coach Janay Gonzalez says he team is in high spirits.

“The girls have been very excited  and after Tuesday’s loss (12-4 to Tuloso-Midway), they didn’t get down on themselves,” Gonzalez said. “They understand that this is a big game, but the last two days have been good practices. They’re pumped up and ready…ready to play the way they know they are capable of.”

The winner moves into the postseason to take on the District 32-4A champion Rio Hondo Lady Bobcats.

It’ll be an uphill battle to make the postseason and head into a tough bi-district matchup, but Gonzalez has high expectations for her Lady Coyotes.

“I can see us winning and with our team bonding where it needs to be, I believe we are capable of a long playoff run,” Gonzalez said. “I see us coming out on top and being competitive in the playoffs.”

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Alice High School softball field.

RED HOT WARMUP

With district play complete in District’s 31-4A and 30-3A, two of the area’s TGCA state-ranked teams will do battle in a marquee exhibition matchup.

The No. 2 Santa Gertrudis Academy Lady Lions will take on the No. 23 Calallen Lady Wildcats on Saturday morning at the Texas A&M University Kingsville softball field.

Calallen’s Teresa Lentz and SGA’s Thomas De Los Santos are looking forward to the matchup and are using it as a measuring stick game of sorts.

“The team is excited about playing SGA,” said Lentz, who is currently out on maternity leave and leaves the team under the direction of assistant Lamar Lopez. “It’s a perfect way to see where they are at and get the competition we need to prepare us for the playoffs.”

Calallen has won 11 games in a row, while SGA has won two in a row coming off a loss to district champion Bishop.

For the Lady Lions, Saturday is also about momentum heading into the postseason and coach De Los Santos is looking forward to the task of trying to slow down the Lady Cat bats.

“We’re looking to contain (Calallen’s) powerful offense and it’ll be a great test for our defense,” De Los Santos said. “They are among the top 4A teams in the area and this warmup will be great for both of us heading into the playoffs.”

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