LA VILLA — Waiting 10 days between games didn’t slow the Los Fresnos Lady Falcons one bit.
After clinching a share of the District 32-6A title April 20, the Lady Falcons cruised into the area round of the Class 6A playoffs, defeating Edinburg North 10-0 in five innings Saturday. A dominant performance in the circle by Katelynn Perez and a fifth-inning barrage with four home runs set up Los Fresnos’ date with Northside Warren, the undefeated No. 1 team in the state, in Round 2.
“I’m just excited,” Lady Falcons coach Traci Blackman said. “We’ve been waiting for this game for a week and a half and had all the obstacles with the rain, moving it from here to there. I’m just happy they came out and they were ready to play, and made it happen.
“I hope it gives them a lot of confidence because the team we’re going to face, (Northside) Warren, is a pretty good team,” she added. “We’ll just go play hard, and you never know. Undefeated teams have to fall sometime, right? It would be great if it was against us. We’ll just go out and do what we do, and see what happens.”
Los Fresnos jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Perez got things started with a leadoff single to left after sitting down the Lady Cougars in order. She came around to score on an errant throw following a fielder’s choice to shortstop by Victoria Altamirano. Samantha Campos sent an RBI single up the middle, then touched home on another throwing error.
The Lady Falcons continued to put the ball in play in the second, but Edinburg North’s defense settled down and recorded a 1-2-3 frame.
Los Fresnos executed at the plate to cushion its advantage in the third. Andrea Guevara hit a sharp single down the third-base line, then another good shot by Altamirano to shortstop resulted in an error and put two runners in scoring position. Kayla Jimenez and Campos laid down sacrifice bunts to score both runs and make it 5-0.
“They put a lot of work in with their hitting, and it pays off. We’re teaching them the game. They’re starting to see different things, and I’m just proud of them,” Blackman said.
The floodgates opened in the fifth as the Lady Falcons worked through the lineup for the third time and were adjusted to the slower velocity. Altamirano and Jimenez blasted back-to-back home runs to left and left-center field to open the bottom of the inning. After a groundout to shortstop, Krystal Perez sent another bomb over the left-field wall.
Dakota Martinez entered the game and recorded an infield single. Then, shortstop Aileen Avelar smashed the fourth home run to enforce the run rule and lift the Lady Falcons to the second round. Avelar said the big inning shows how one good thing can get the whole team clicking, and she’s hoping that energy will spark a quick start and a win over Warren.
“Honestly, I was not trying to hit a home run. I did not expect that, but I was happy with it. I was just excited because I was already thinking second round,” Avelar said. “We’re going to give it our all, and hopefully we’ll have our bats going that game, too. I think we work together really well, and once we get started everybody gets really fired up. We just need to start early for that game.”
Katelynn Perez allowed only one hit and struck out 10 with three walks in five innings of work. She was pleased with her control and ball placement, and said “it feels so good” to be a district and bi-district champion.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m so excited for the next round,” Perez said. “I felt pretty good, I felt confident (in the circle). I had my ups and downs, but I pulled through. I was just trying to focus on placing the ball where I was supposed to place it.”