Weslaco High smashes Brennan to advance to State

CORPUS CHRISTI San Antonio Brennan looked like one of the toughest challenges for Weslaco High on paper.

It ended up being the easiest opponent for the Panthers as they cruised into the Class 6A-state tournament by sweeping the Bears.

The Panthers won Game 2 with ease, 21-2, and outscored the Bears 37-5 in the Region IV-6A finals. Weslaco High will play next Friday at Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin against a team and at a time that is yet to be determined.

Weslaco High returns to state for the first time since 2016 and along with San Benito is one of two softball programs in Rio Grande Valley history to make it to the state tournament. The Panthers have been close the past two years by making it to this round two seasons ago and Round 3 last season.

“This group started when we lost in the third round last year,” Weslaco High head coach Mario Rodriguez said after the game. “They have not stopped. I am talking weight room, all the unseen hours in the batting cages and things like that. They just have not stopped. What makes it really special is that all of them put in the hard work. It has not been a certain group, it has been all of them.”

Weslaco High scored all of its runs during the second and third innings. The Panthers put up eight in the second and 13 in the third.

Panthers right fielder Ema Galvan went 3-for-3 at the plate with five RBIs. Galvan started the Panthers scoring in the bottom of the second with a bases-clearing triple to give her team a 3-2 lead.

“It was a whole team effort,” Galvan said. “Runners got on and I came through, put the ball in play, and that is all we could ask for.”

Weslaco High senior Ema Galvan with a Class 6A Region IV champions Friday night at Cabaniss in Corpus Christi. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

Galvan also picked up a home run and is a senior on the team.

“Sophomore year we were here, and after that loss we wanted to come back by our senior year and just make it happen,” Galvan said. “We did.”

Weslaco High never looked back, picking up the run-rule victory in the fifth inning.

Senior Elizabeth Craig went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs. Sophomore Dayla Hinojosa went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and fellow sophomore Clarissa Mejia also brought in three runs on 2-for-3 hitting.

Senior third baseman Alexis Soliz went 3-for-4 as the Panthers picked up 16 hits in only four innings.

The lineup for the Panthers is crazy good offensively, they have a superb defense and a terrific pitcher in sophomore Madelynn Cantu that could make some noise next week in Austin.

Check out photos of the game from Andrew Cordero.