Weslaco High won its sixth consecutive game to extend the Rio Grande Valley’s longest active winning streak and set up a colossal Valley-versus-Valley matchup in the regional quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs.
The Panthers (19-4) downed San Antonio Harlan for the second day in a row in an 8-3 Game 2 victory to pick up an area-round sweep of the Hawks and improve to 4-0 in the postseason after sweeping Edinburg Vela in the bi-district round.
Weslaco walloped Harlan with a dominant display offensively combining for 15 hits as a team Saturday and hanging 17 runs on the Hawks in two games.
Five Panthers tallied extra-base hits in the Game 2 victory highlighted by a home run from Katia Reyes, who pitched and played shortstop in the win, and triples by right fielder Jordan Diaz and second baseman Lilly Torres.
Reyes led the charge with a 3-for-4 day at the plate that included a run and three RBIs, while Stacie Bautista added two RBIs after entering the game as a pinch hitter.
Weslaco’s win sets up a colossal regional quarterfinal matchup with District 32-6A foe Los Fresnos after the Falcons completed a stunning comeback to defeat previously unbeaten San Antonio Warren, the top-ranked 6A team in the state, twice in a doubleheader to advance to Round 3.
The Falcons defeated the Panthers 3-1 and 3-2 in their previous two meetings this season. Game times and locations for the matchup between Weslaco and Los Fresnos are still to be determined.
SHARYLAND PIONEER COMPLETES COMEBACK AGAINST FLOUR BLUFF
The Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks rebounded after dropping Game 1 of their area-round series to Corpus Christi Flour Bluff on Thursday and rallied to secure back-to-back victories to punch their ticket to the regional quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs.
The Diamondbacks (21-5-2) defeated Flour Bluff 6-4 in Game 3 on Saturday afternoon after evening the series with a 4-1 win Friday night, becoming the only sub-6A RGV softball team to advance to Round 3.
Pioneer jumped on the board early courtesy of a two-out RBI single by Alondra Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the top of the first and again on a Rodriguez RBI single to left field in the following frame.
The D’Backs broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning spurred by another two-out rally headlined by back-to-back home runs off the bats of Arianna Ale and Karisa Lopez to move ahead 6-0.
The Hornets mounted a comeback bid in the final inning and managed to score four runs before Pioneer sophomore pitcher Reaghan Staehely recorded a strikeout to end the game with the potential tying run at first base.
The Diamondbacks, champions of District 31-5A, advance to the regional quarterfinals where they will face District 29-5A co-champion Victoria West at a time and location yet to be determined after the Warriors completed an area-round sweep against Mercedes on Saturday.
PSJA NORTH, WESLACO EAST SWEPT BY SA BRENNAN, CC CARROLL
The PSJA North Raiders and Weslaco East Wildcats were each swept out of the postseason Saturday afternoon in run-rule defeats.
PSJA North (26-3-1), the sixth-ranked 6A team in the state according to the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, suffered their first back-to-back losses of the season after dropping Game 2 to San Antonio Brennan 17-6 in six innings.
The loss drops the Raiders, District 31-6A champions, out of the postseason following a 12-6 defeat to the Bears in Game 1 on Friday night.
Brennan advances to the area round to face 29-6A rival San Antonio O’Connor, which eliminated Harlingen South with an area-round sweep Saturday afternoon.
Weslaco East (16-8-1), meanwhile, was unable to generate any offensive momentum in a 10-0 loss in five innings to Corpus Christi Carroll in Game 2 of their area-round series in the 5A playoffs.
Carroll, District 29-5A co-champs and the TGCA-ranked 19th team in 5A, pitched back-to-back shutouts against the Wildcats and secured its fourth straight run-rule victory of the postseason.
The Tigers advance to face 29-5A foe Corpus Christi Ray after the Texans defeated Brownsville Veterans 10-3 in a one-game, area-round playoff to end the Chargers’ season.