High School Softball: San Marcos sweeps Eagle Pass, advances to Regional Finals
By TYLER MAYFORTH
Was there ever a doubt?
For the third consecutive week, San Marcos returned to its home field with a chance to close out a series and advance farther in the postseason than it had been in quite some time. Just like those other instances, the Lady Rattlers came through Friday night and sent an opponent packing.
An early deficit wasn't enough to keep San Marcos down as it rallied for a 4-3 win over Eagle Pass in Game 2 of their Regional Semifinals series. The victory, in front of the largest crowd in the history of Lady Rattler Field, completed a sweep of the Lady Eagles and moved the Lady Rattlers one step closer to the state tournament.
"I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now," San Marcos sophomore pitcher Victoria Vasquez said. "This is incredible. My dream since I've been little was to go far and to take my team far. It's just amazing how it's come true."
Vasquez pitched incredibly well Friday night, punching out 11 batters en route to her 26th win of the season.
Eagle Pass struck first, however, as Monica Flores launched a two-run home run in the top of the first inning and gave the visitors momentum. Vasquez walked the second batter of the game, then Flores followed with a towering shot over the wall in right-center field.
Any edge the Lady Eagles had quickly went away once Vianey Villalpando stepped to the plate for the Lady Rattlers. With Stephanie Marmolejo on base, Villalpando tied the game with one swing of her bat. Villalpando belted her ninth home run of the season and knocked in her 39th and 40th runs.
"It just gave the girls hope that we're back in the game," Villalpando said. "We weren't down. We were back in it. We all understood that even before that, the game wasn't over since it was still the first inning."
San Marcos broke the tie with one run in the second after loading the bases with no outs. A one-out error by Eagle Pass' third baseman allowed Joshlynn Gonzales to cross home plate and put the Lady Rattlers up 3-2.
Gonzales scored again in the fourth after leading off the frame with a triple. Following a ground ball by Madie Bumgardner, Gonzales faked as if she was headed home and it confused the Lady Eagles' second baseman enough that her short throw to first sailed wide.
Eagle Pass threatened in the sixth and scored a third run, but Vasquez stood tall. Vasquez struck out four of her 11 batters in the last two innings, including the final batter of the game.
For a more in-depth game story, as well as more pictures and quotes from Friday's win, be sure to check Sunday's print edition of the Daily Record.