San Benito set to clash with Weslaco for District 32-6A crown

SAN BENITO — With the softball season coming to a close, some teams are preparing to hang things up while some are gearing up for a postseason run.

For San Benito and Weslaco, a district title will be on the line when the two softball titans face off tonight at San Benito.

After an early season loss to Harlingen South, San Benito has been on a roll. Winners of seven straight, the Lady Hounds’ offense has been lighting up opposing pitchers all while averaging nine runs a game during the current win streak.

A big part of the offensive production has come from Joanna Gonzalez and Alina Jasso.

A win by San Benito will clinch the Lady Hounds at least a share of the title, which would be San Benny’s sixth consecutive league crown and would be a second for head coach Kristy Leal.

“Offensively, we are scoring runs; I figure that’s how we win games, put the ball in play and score,” said Leal. “Defensively, we have been playing error-free and hopefully we can continue that tonight.”

The Lady Hounds’ offense will have their work cut out for them as Weslaco will send either southpaw Taylor Tafolla or Ashley Sada to toe the rubber. Tafolla, a senior, has posted an 8-1 record through 40 innings along with a 1.57 ERA. Sada has provided the two in the Lady Panthers’ one-two punch. Sada has mostly worked in relief of Tafolla, but has held her own with 30 strikeouts to two walks through 25 innings of work.

On the flip side, Weslaco is also riding a win streak of its own at six games. The Lady Panthers sit at 11-1 in district with their only blemish coming against San Benito earlier this season.

The Lady Panthers, much like the Lady Hounds, are fueled by their youth and big-game experience. Alyssa Escamilla leads the club with a .625 average and 30 hits.

“We want to be playing our best ball at the end of the season,” said Weslaco coach Mario Rodriguez. “It was huge for us to beat Harlingen South to set up a big game against San Benito on Thursday. It’s going to be fun. I know our fans travel well and San Benito will bring a big crowd. It’s going to be a good game to prepare both of us for the playoffs.”