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Softball: A&M-San Antonio falls to Houston-Victoria in regular-season finale

Softball: A&M-San Antonio falls to Houston-Victoria in regular-season finale - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio's softball team showing enthusiasm during their late inning rally against the University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars on April 27, 2022. Photo by Raul Lopez

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio Jaguars were swept by the University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars in their regular-season finale last Wednesday at the Tejeda Sports Complex. 

Houston-Victoria asserted themselves as the superior Jags team in the conference by beating A&M-San Antonio in a hard-fought game one that required extra innings. 

Then they dominated game two, which gave A&M-San Antonio back-to-back losses. 

With the regular season completed, A&M-San Antonio now looks to prove themselves in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament starting May 5 at St. Mary’s University.

Game 1:

Houston-Victoria came out swinging in the first inning as senior right fielder Ashley Reyna launched a home run over the center field fence.

Sophomore designated player Claire Blinka followed up the homer with a double to right-center to put the pressure on A&M-San Antonio.

A&M-San Antonio struck out the next batter but were immediately put on their back foot again when Houston-Victoria sophomore catcher Kaylle Lopez singled to advance Blinka to third.

A&M-San Antonio got out of the jam as Houston-Victoria senior left fielder Jackie Longoria flew out to left field.

In the bottom of the inning, A&M-San Antonio got off to a hot start when junior second baseman Caty Rangel hit a double to left-center with one out.

One batter later, junior center fielder Vanessa Garces hit a single that scored Rangel who dodged a tag from the catcher with an evasive slide to touch home plate.

The following batter grounded out to end the inning with the score tied 1-1.

In the top of the second, A&M-San Antonio looked to shut down the Houston-Victoria offense by getting two quick outs from the first two batters.

Houston-Victoria would not go quietly though, as they hit three straight singles after senior shortstop Alexis Gonzalez was hit by a pitch.

Sophomore center fielder Madysin Leighton started it off with a single down the first baseline. 

Reyna followed up by hitting a single to center field which scored Gonzalez and advanced Leighton to third.

Finally, Blinka hit a single of her own to center field which scored Leighton and advanced Reyna to second.

The pressure mounted for A&M-San Antonio after a passed ball put the runners on second and third, but they avoided further damage as the final batter flew out to center.

A&M-San Antonio responded in the bottom of the inning.

Freshman first baseman Karina Guzman singled to lead off the inning. 

She was later thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice which allowed freshman catcher Julia Pinzon to reach first.

After Pinzon advanced to second on a wild pitch, freshman third baseman Andrea Ortiz drew a four-pitch walk.

Junior right fielder Peyton Vasquez then hit a single to left field to load the bases with two outs.

Rangel capitalized for A&M-San Antonio with a two-run single that scored both Ortiz and Pinzon.

Houston-Victoria got the final out of the inning on a fielder’s choice that saw Rangel thrown out at second.

The eventful second inning ended with the score tied as both teams scored two runs to make it 3-3.

Both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth, Houston-Victoria took the lead off of a solo home run from Lopez over the center field fence.

Houston-Victoria had another potential two-out rally quickly extinguished when Ortiz made a diving stop of a ground ball down the third baseline and fired it to first base in time to get them out to end the inning.

A&M-San Antonio was not able to respond to the home run as they were retired in order during the bottom of the inning to make the score 4-3.

After a quiet sixth inning from both teams, A&M-San Antonio held Houston-Victoria hitless in the top of the seventh to keep the deficit to one.

Rangel continued her offensive success as she led off with a single to put the tying run on base. She then advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Freshman pinch hitter Jordan Ramos was successful with her sacrifice bunt, advancing Rangel to third. 

Garces then sent a fly ball to right field which allowed Rangel to tag up and score to tie the game 4-4.

With the score tied to end the seventh, the game went into extra innings.

In the eighth inning, both teams were retired in order.

Houston-Victoria took control in the top of the ninth as Blinka hit a lead-off home run to put her team on top.

One batter later, Lopez added a home run of her own, her second of the game.

A&M-San Antonio got the following two outs without any further offense from Houston-Victoria. However, they had their work cut out for them in the bottom of the inning, as they trailed 6-4.

Vasquez led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a four-pitch walk. 

She then stole second for her 45th stolen base of the year, a mark that put her in the top ten for stolen bases in the entire country.

Rangel then grounded out to second, advancing Vasquez to third.

Junior pinch hitter Britney Garcia then grounded out to third to leave A&M-San Antonio with just one out left to stay alive in the game.

Garces kept her team’s hope alive with a single to left-center, scoring Vasquez and putting the tying run on base.

The home team would fall just short as sophomore left fielder Kameryn Casares flew out to right field for the final out of the game.

Final Score: Houston-Victoria 6, A&M-San Antonio 5.

Standout players of the game: 

For A&M-San Antonio, Rangel was dominant. She was involved in 4 of the team’s 5 runs including the tying run to send the game into extra innings. 

After game two, Rangel talked about trying to carry momentum from the positive performance in a tough loss into the next game.

“We kind of remember this is our home. We get the last at-bat,” she said. “Even little outs in each inning, we try to use that as momentum and use that for the next inning. We try to keep the energy as high as we can.”

Lopez was the standout player for Houston-Victoria with 2 home runs in the game.

Rangel: 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB

Lopez: 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 HR

Game 2:

The second game of the double-header started off with another strong offensive inning for Houston-Victoria.

Reyna and Blinka hit singles to right and left field, then senior first baseman Zoe Miranda was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Lopez then doubled down the right field line to score both Reyna and Blinka and advance Miranda to third.

Houston-Victoria had seized control with a 2-0 lead.

A&M-San Antonio managed to get a single hit in the bottom of the first inning and it would be their only hit for several innings to come. 

Houston-Victoria added to their lead with two runs in the third, a home run by Reyna in the fourth and two runs in the fifth.

With the score now 7-0, A&M-San Antonio continued to struggle offensively.

In the bottom of the fifth, they managed their second hit of the game, a single with two outs that didn’t lead to any further offense.

A&M-San Antonio held the visiting Jaguars scoreless in the sixth and top of the seventh to give themselves one last opportunity.

The home team started off strong drawing back-to-back walks in their first two at-bats. 

Then, after a fly-out from Ortiz, Guzman hit a single down the left field line to score A&M-San Antonio’s first run of the game.

Sophomore catcher Madeline Arellano drew another walk to load the bases with just one out.

A second run scored on a fly-out to center field that allowed Kasares to tag up and score from third.

The seventh-inning rally came to an end when Vasquez grounded out for the final out of the game.

Final Score: Houston-Victoria 7, A&M-San Antonio 2.

Standout players of the game: 

Houston-Victoria’s Reyna and Lopez carried their game one success into game two. They combined for five hits, three runs, and four RBI.

Reyna: 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR

Lopez: 3-4, 1 R, 3 RBI

After the game, A&M-San Antonio head coach Nicole Dufour talked about the effects a long season has on the team in a series like this.

“We are getting to the point of the season where you get a lot of fatigue, both physical and mental, that’s setting in,” she said. “We just have to do the best we can to stay focused and push through.”

For more information and news about A&M-San Antonio’s softball team, visit their social media account on Twitter, @TamusaSoftball, and Instagram, @Tamusa_softball. Team coverage can be found at @tamusasports on all other social media platforms.

About the Author

Graham Hotard
Graham Hotard is a communication junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He transferred after receiving an associate degree from San Antonio College and is a full-time student. He is an avid fan of all things science fiction and fantasy. In his free time he loves to listen to audio books, play video games, watch football and spend time with his dog Luna. He plans to pursue a career in writing after graduating.

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