Calallen pitching, deep shots more than Owls can overcome


     The Hondo Owls reached softball’s 4A regional quarterfinals for the second straight year, and like last year, Coastal Bend powerhouse Calallen proved to be more than Hondo could handle.

     Friday, May 13, at Martin Field, the Wildcats needed five innings to produce a 12-1 victory. Then in the South Texas heat on Saturday afternoon, May 14, Calallen got a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to record their second run-rule victory over the Owls, 11-0.

Hondo concludes the season at 20-15, with an area championship, as the team prepares for the move to 3A next season.

     Calallen’s offense was potent both days, scoring at least two runs in nine of the 11 innings played in the series.

    On Friday, Wildcat pitcher Breanna Ford didn’t allow a hit to the Owls. Hondo scored its lone run of the series in the fourth inning, as Madison Rodriguez reached base on a Calallen fielding error. Pinch runner Johanna Steubing moved to second on a wild pitch, and came in to score on a pair of groundouts.

     Calallen, meanwhile, had 11 hits, including back-to-back homers to open the fourth inning. The Wildcats scored three in the first and fifth, and two runs in each inning in between.

     Hondo managed three hits in Saturday’s game at Calallen, but the Wildcats brought the power, with four homers, including two solos in the first inning, a grand slam in the fifth and the two-run blast to end it in the sixth.

     Megan Buerger had a two-out single in the third, and Bethany Ybarra and Madison Sotelo had consecutive hits in the fourth.

   Calallen, which was the Region IV champion and state runner-up a year ago, will advance this weekend to face Columbia in a best-of-three 4A regional semifinal series. The opener was played Wednesday night, May 18, at Calallen, with games 2 – and 3, if needed – to be played on Saturday, May 21, in West Columbia. Sweeny and Tuloso-Midway are in the other region IV semifinal, as only Districts 25-4A and 31-4A remain alive in the postseason.