History! Harlingen South wins regional title; Valley sends two to state

SAN ANTONIO — Harlingen South clinched the first trip to the State Tournament in program history by sweeping Liberty Hill on Saturday.

The Hawks won the Class 5A Region IV title by winning 14-9 in San Antonio on Saturday after picking up the 14-7 victory in Game 1 on Thursday in Corpus Christi. 

Harlingen South overcame deficits in both games, but the leads Liberty Hill had did not stick long enough as the Hawks’ offense had their best series when it mattered the most. The Hawks combined total of 28 runs this series was 7 runs greater than their previous playoff-series best of 21.

That was way back in April in the bi-district round against Edinburg Vela.

The Hawks are playing late May for the first time ever, and maybe June, and will join Weslaco High at the tournament. This is the first time in history the Valley will have two teams in the state tourney.

“Credit to the girls, I can not say it enough – credit to them,” Harlingen South head coach Joey Rios said. “They trusted the plan, remained faithful and they did the little things right, an it shows.”

Rios was thankful for the community support for his team and also his staff, the administration and his family for all the backing.

Harlingen South poses for a photo after winning the 5A-Region IV Saturday evening at NISD Softball Field in San Antonio. (Andrew Cordero/Special to RGVSports.com)

The Hawks picked up 14 hits and six walks against Liberty Hill in Game 2.

Senior Yezenia Perez has been on fire lately and she continued that trend going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Another senior that has been hitting well late in the post season is Emily Ruiz. She went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk.

Junior Amira Rodriguez had some decent contact early in the game go straight to outfielders, but she bounced back with two crucial hits that yielded three runs to help put away Liberty Hill. Sophomore Jaylin Mata went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as well.

Every Hawk in the lineup either hit or walk. Only one batter did not pick up a hit, but was walked twice.

Rodriguez drove in two in the sixth to put the Hawks up 13-8. Harlingen South put up six runs in the top of the fifth thanks to a bases-clearing double by Perez and RBIs by Rodriguez, Ruiz and Mata.

Ruiz and junior Lexi Sandoval drove in runs to tie the game in the fourth after Liberty Hill took a 5-3 lead.

The Hawks head to state with a 10-2 playoff record and a total record of 35-4-1.

Extra photos by Andrew Cordero