Rio Sports Live

Mercedes stuns C.C. Carroll, advances to regional semis

The Mercedes Lady Tigers were pushed to the brink in their Class 5A regional
quarterfinal one-game playoff, falling behind 9-1 to the Carroll Lady Tigers after
two complete innings.

Things looked grim for Mercedes after Carroll posted six runs in the first inning and three more in the second after a pair of home runs.

Mercedes would come roaring back, recording five-run innings in the fifth and sixth innings, lifting the Lady Tigers to an 11-9 victory Friday night at Alice High School.

Mercedes’ Ashley De Leon smacked a two-run home run in the sixth to make it a one-run ball game, followed by a solo game-tying shot from Bridgette Sanchez to tie the game at 9-9.

The Lady Tigers took the lead three batters later thanks to a two-run single by Klarissa Rizo that made it 11-9.

“We have had so many games that we’ve been down and these kids don’t let it faze them – not one bit,” Mercedes head coach Kristy Leal said. “They’re constantly fighting and doing for each other. Today was all about playing for each other.”

After starting pitcher Zelinda Camacho was chased from the circle after giving up seven hits and seven earned runs 1 2/3 innings, Rizzo entered in relief and settled the Lady Tigers’ defense down, allowing just one hit in 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.

“You have to go in there strong and not be afraid,” Rizzo said of the moment. “I just asked myself, ‘what can we lose?’ It’s unbelievable what we just did, but I knew in my heart that all we had to do was play tough.”

Mercedes advances to the regional semifinals and will await the winner of Smithson Valley and South San Antonio.

Carroll’s Kaeileigh Mendez finished the night going 2 for 4 with a single, home run and two runs scored, while teammate Kiley Flores was also 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Ameris Garcia went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer for Carroll.

For Mercedes, Bridgette Sanchez went 3 for 4, four RBI and was a double away from the cycle. Lindsey Lopez went 3 for 4 on the night with an RBI and two runs scored.