SAN DIEGO — At this point in the state softball playoffs, pretty much every team is ranked. Afterall, only 16 teams remain in each classification.
This is the case in Class 3A when the San Diego Lady Vaqueros, winners of six-straight postseason games, are ranked No. 8. Across the field this week is another ranked squad. With only two losses this season, Hallettsville is ranked No. 3.
The Lady Brahmas by far represent San Diego’s toughest challenge of the season.
San Diego and Hallettsville are playing in the Class 2A, Region IV semifinals. They two are playing in a best-of-three series beginning Thursday at Ed Kruse Stadium at Texas Lutheran University in Sequin. Game 1 is at 7 p.m. Thursday. Game 2 is at 6 p.m. Saturday. If needed, Game 3 will follow.
Despite the Lady Brahmas’ near perfect run, San Diego has been equally as impressive. The Lady Vaqueros are 27-7 for the season. After blowing out Monte Alto and Dilley in the first two rounds of the postseason, San Diego fought off a determined Odem squad last week. They swept the Lady Owls by winning once in extra innings and again with a come from behind one-run victory.
Pitcher Marlena Martinez gave up five hits but held the Lady Owls to just two runs in San Diego’s 3-2 victory Friday. The Lady Owls, like they did in the first game, took an early lead by scoring a run in the top of the second inning. San Diego bounced right back. Facing Mia Auster, the same pitcher Odem threw Thursday, San Diego’s line-up seems more at ease. In the bottom of the second, the Lady Vaqueros scored two runs off base hits by Kayla Oliveira and Rianna Lopez.
Odem tied the game in the top of the fourth, but San Diego once again moved in front in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI single by Zalayna Perez, which scored Lianna Vela. Perez ended the game by going 3-for-5. Kady Rios and Lexi Soliz were each 2-for-2.
The Lady Vaqueros won the first game of the series Thursday night by breaking a 4-4 tie with a four-run rally in the eighth inning.
Oliveira went all eight innings for San Diego. She gave up eight hits and two walks. She struck out 13. Perez went 3-for-4 with two runs and Bazan went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Oliveira was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.