McALLEN — In case anyone needed a reminder, the San Benito Lady ’Hounds wanted to let people know they’re still the team to beat in Valley softball.
And on Friday night, McAllen Rowe got the message loud and clear.
Behind an early hitting barrage which led to four first-inning runs plus another marvelous outing from pitcher Crystal Castillo, the defending Region-IV 5A champions blanked Rowe 8-0 on the road to sit alone in first place in District 31-5A.
San Benito (18-4, 9-2 district) and Rowe (8-3 district) entered the night tied atop the league heading into the pivotal matchup. Not only did the huge win give San Benito a one-game edge on the Lady Warriors, but also the season sweep, which could come into play in the event of a tie.
The ladies in purple pounded out 13 hits on the night and plated four in the first on RBI singles from Kim Harper, Clarissa Huerta got the party started as the girls cranked out four hits and scored four runs from the get-go.
In the third, Alexus Cavazos drove in a run with a single and scored on an error for a 6-0 edge, which was more than enough for Castillo, who’s been on as good of a run in the circle as anybody this season.
Castillo’s statline for the game was another gem: She scattered three hits, struck out 11 and walked only one on 102 pitches. Seventy-five of her tosses went for strikes.
Later in the sixth, there was more offense as Huerta was at it again with a two-run double for the final margin as San Benito stayed in control throughout.
Just four games remain on the regular season slate, and the next outing for the Lady ’Hounds will be on Thursday, April 3 when they host PSJA North at Lady ’Hound Field.