The suspense boiled down to this Friday night; into which dugout would the black-and-white kitten settle? As for the softball, it was over quickly as five Econ errors plus steady North hitting fashioned an 18-2 Lady Cougar win over on the East Side.
The Lady Jags (1-9, 6-16) dropped three fly balls and North ((8-2, 17-6) took advantage, scoring eight runs in the first en route to a laugher. A massive home run from Iliana Hinojosa (2 for 4, 4 RBI) was the highlight as the visitor pounded out 13 hits. And both teams giggled and cooed over the feline, who wandered in and out of the action during the latter innings.
“Hey look, it’s a Bobcat trying to sneak into our dugout,” said one of the Lady Cougars, in reference to the rival Edinburg squad, which also won Friday to keep pace at 8-2 in District 31-5A. Those two will meet April 24 with extreme playoff implications on the line once again.
North enjoyed a fine night at the plate as five kids got two hits apiece; with 18 runs the team notched a single-game high for league play, 12 points above its 6-run average so far. The Lady Jags got ringing base hits from Rachel Rodriguez and Yvette Garza and a leaping defensive stab at first from Krystal Rodriguez, but continued to have severe trouble on the mound and in the field. Opposing hitters have touched Orange hurlers for 10.4 runs per game in 31-5A play, while the Lady Jag offense has gotten just 2.5 per night.
Meanwhile, EHS got a second shutout in a row, as Sammy Arciba blanked P-SJ-A, following fellow freshman Myranda Hinojosa’s complete game shutout on Tuesday.
Senior leadership has been carrying the Lady Bobcats lately, as infielder Mariah Ozuna and outfielder Claudia Salinas have been hot at the dish. Ozuna homered and doubled Tuesday against Harlingen while catcher Deidre Tafolla also continues to provide solid contributions with the stick.
In baseball action Friday, Edinburg pounded Harlingen 11-0 to rise to 6-3 in district, 15-10 overall. J.J. Balderas pitched well for the Bobcats while soph Sammy Alvarado had a big hit. EHS has yielded fewer than four runs per game so far and is right in the league title hunt, in second place, having beaten P-SJ-A Memorial 5-1 Tuesday.
The track and field season comes to a head this week at P-SJ-A with the District 31-5A track meet, Thursday and Saturday. Over the weekend, the last chance to work before district came at the Flying Ws Relays in Pharr.
The North boys made a good showing, with Luis Serrano winning the 800, Jared Weems finishing second in the high jump, and Bryan Trevino third in the pole vault. The Econ girls got a first prize from freshman Leigha Brown in the high jump after she cleared 5 feet. Kenya Gonzalez (long jump) and Osmaria Tenorio (800) were also solid.
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrea “Red” Gonzalez (sr.) North
Utility Player of the Year
Viviana Hernandez (jr.) North
Alyssa Perez (sr.) EHS
Newcomer of the Year
Emily Infante (soph) EHS
Forward: Dulce Torres (sr.) Econ; Viri Torres (soph) North; Amy Avila (soph) EHS
Midfield: Destiny Rodriguez (sr.) North, Beckah Rodriguez (jr.) EHS
Defense: Andrea Maldonado (sr.) EHS; Andrea Solis (sr.) EHS
Goalkeeper: Ana Lopez (sr.) EHS
Forward: Kimberly Rodriguez (soph) North; Bianca Ramos (sr.) EHS
Midfield: Gisela Ledesma (sr.) North; Sam Almanza (sr.) EHS
Defense: Tosha Goytia (sr.) Econ; Edna Gonzalez (sr.) North; Aleyna Cubriel (soph) North; Alayne Perez (soph) North
Goalkeeper: Michelle Villarreal (soph) North
Forward: Savannah Castillo (frosh) Econ; Jamie Torres (jr.) North; Lyanna Jimenez (jr.) EHS
Midfield: Nidia Campos (sr.) Econ; Idalia Ortiz (sr.) Econ; Dulce Loera (jr.) Econ; Victoria Garza (jr.) North; Kristina Caballero (jr.) North; Rachel Hernandez (soph) EHS; Carolina Vazquez (sr.) North; Aleyda Paz (jr.) Econ
Defense: Roxanne Constantino (sr.) Econ; Nicole Wilke (jr.) Econ; Marianna Watson (jr.) North; Bri Sanchez (soph) EHS; Vanessa Hinojosa (jr.) EHS; Emily Cardenas (jr.) North; Astrid Rodriguez (sr.) Econ
Goalkeeper: Maria Hernandez (sr.) Econ