Rio Sports Live

CARDIAC CATS: Calallen hangs on to secure berth in state title game

By KEVIN NARRO | Rio Sports Live 

GEORGETOWN — Thursday afternoon provided many twists and turns as weather shifted the Class 4A state semifinals from Red and Charline McCombs Field at the University of Texas to Georgetown High School and also pushed first pitch from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The clash between top-ranked Iowa Park and Calallen was worth the wait. 

With the Lady Wildcats holding a five-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Hawks rallied to load the bases and with two outs and two strikes, Rylee Goins cranked a grand slam and cut the lead to just one run. 

After a base hit that sent the winning run to the plate, Calallen’s Breanna Ford fielded a ground ball and flipped it to first for the final out.

Following a collective exhale the Lady Wildcats would emerge with a wild 10-9 win and a spot in Saturday’s Class 4A state championship. 

Calallen will meet Liberty Saturday at 1 p.m. for the Class 4A state title.

“I’m super proud of the girls,” Calallen skipper Teresa Lentz said. “This pressure, you can’t explain how much the pressure is and how much the girls were excited. There was all sorts of stuff and they were able to bounce back after making some mistakes that were uncharacteristic of them. We knew what it took and they were mentality tough and took care of business — it is not an easy thing to do.”   

Thursday’s game was as unpredictable as the weather. The Lady Wildcats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after Lauren Mata swatted a two-out homer. 

Iowa Park answered with a four-run bottom half of the first and took a 5-3 into the fourth inning. 

In the top of the fourth is where Calallen’s bats woke up. The Lady Cats plated four runs and took a 7-5 lead in an inning highlighted by two walks and a pair of infield singles from Avi Gonzalez and Kennedy Koenig. 

“The girls overall as a whole feed off of each other,” Lentz said. “They want it so bad and they were ready and it is not easy. That experience being here does help.” 

In the circle, Ford struggled in the first inning but settled in from the second through the six inning. Between those innings, Ford yielded one hit, one run and walked five but was backed up by some solid play by Reagan Tenhill and Jasmine Pena who flipped two key double plays in the third and fifth innings. 

Pena not only shined at second base but also hit a solo homer in the sixth inning. Pena went 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch. Freshman Megan Guyer crushed a solo homer of her own in the third inning. Calallen went yard three times Thursday night. 

“Coming from the outfield and playing that position my whole life and moving to the infield I had a big role to fill,” Pena said. “I trust my team and I trust my coach, she taught me everything I know. Reagan and I work well and no one can beat us or top that.” 

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