Rio Sports Live

Calallen picks up convincing sweep of Tuloso-Midway

CORPUS CHRISTI – Like they have done since starting the 2023 softball playoffs, the Calallen Lady Cats got the jump on the Tuloso-Midway Lady Cherokees for the second time in as many days and never looked back.

Back-to-back homers from Alaunah Almaraz and Jordyn Thibodeaux sparked an 8-run burst in the bottom of the first inning as the Lady Cats cruised to a 13-3 Game-2 victory in five innings over the Cherokees to complete a 2-0 sweep of their best-of-three regional quarterfinal series Friday night at Cabaniss Field.

Calallen is now 5-0 in these playoffs, outscoring opponents 72-8 during the first three rounds. Still, head coach Teresa Lentz feels that she hasn’t seen her team’s best shot just yet.

 “We want to make sure that we are peaking last day,” she said. We’re not our best and there’s a lot of girls that have a lot in them and they still have a lot more to improve on. We haven’t been able to play like this at all (this year) so if we continue to do what we do offensively, defensively and in the circle, it could be pretty fun. We could ourselves a chance to do something pretty fun this round.”

The Lady Cats complete a 2-0 series sweep and now advance to the Regional Semifinal where they will face the winner of the Sweeney and Needville series, which concludes Saturday.

Things started off positively for the Cherokees on Friday night as lead-off batter Demiree Stafford opened the game with a standup double. Soon after, a Calallen error put Rayven Ramos on base and opened the door for Stafford to quickly score the game’s first run.

The lead would be short-lived as Calallen pitcher Ryanna Rodela hit an RBI double that brought in Megan Geyer and tied the game at 1-1.

After a sac fly from Audryna Almaraz scored Mia Flores to give the Lady Cats a 2-1 lead, Alaunah Almaraz sent a two-run homer over the fence and Jordyn Thibodeaux followed suit with a solo shot of her own to make it 5-1.

It would be the start of an eight-run inning that would blow the game wide open, putting the early error in the rear view and setting the tempo for the rest of the night.

“Even though we had that error (in the first), you just have to bounce back from it,” Alaunah Almaraz said. “You have to forget about it and keep moving forward and keep motivating your team to do well.”

The inning as the start of a rough night for starting pitcher Madison Gummelt, who gave up 11 earned runs and 10 hits in the loss.

Calallen continued the onslaught in the second inning, racking up four runs on three hits, highlighted by a three-run homer by Braelyn Bailey and a solo shot from Kayden Trevino to bust the game open at 12-1.

Tuloso-Midway would get runs across in the and third inning on a double from Talina Valdez and a single from Gummelt in the fourth.

Geyer finished the game going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, while Trevino also went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Rodella picked up the win in the circle, allowing seven hits and two earned runs in 7.0 innings of work.