No Lady Cat softball squad had made it this far before and the local ladies finished the season with a very good 24-7 record.
“The Refugio Lady Cats played with heart and a great deal of character. They exemplified the never quit attitude that is a staple of Refugio athletics,” said coach David Cruhm.
“Unfortunately, we fell a little short of advancing but not without a fight. We are very proud of the team and we expect great things in the future.”
Game one of the best of three series on Thursday in Victoria had the Lady Cats riding the pitching arm of Chelsea Lara and their defense to a 3-0 victory.
The game was a scoreless affair though the first four innings but the Lady Cats put two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth to take the lead.
Catcher Karen Wise plated the two runs with a double that brought in Cecilia Bauer and Shelby Quintanilla, both of whom reached on base hits.
Bauer also scored in the seventh for the final Refugio run. Bauer reached on an error and moved around to third on a passed ball. A perfectly executed squeeze bunt off Quintanilla’s bat brought her home and gave the Lady Cats a 3-0 edge going into the bottom of the seventh.
Hallettsville threatened by loading the bases with only one out. Lara worked for a fly-out for out number two and then struck out the final Lady Brahma batter to end the contest.
Game two was another close contest but the Refugio defense was far from sparkling. Six errors helped the Hallettsville ladies escape with a 2-0 victory that tied the series at 1-1 and would force a third and final game on Saturday in Victoria.
The finale was a good game for both teams but it did come down to which team would make a crucial mistake or two.
Three scoreless innings went by before Hallettsville broke the ice and pushed one run across in the top of the fourth. A Refugio error, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly got the Lady Brahmas on the board for a 1-0 lead.
The Refugio girls refused to quit and came back and tied things up in the bottom of the fifth. Michelle Rosas’ smacked an RBI single that plated Haley Brynelsen.
Hallettsville scored two in the top of the sixth to regain the lead. Refugio rallied in their half of the sixth but a base running error cost the Lady Cats a run. Shelby Bellows was out at third, trying hard to stretch a double into a triple. Wise followed with a single that got by the left fielder and would have scored Bellows. Wise ended up on second, in scoring position but was left stranded.
A lead off single from Brynelsen in the seventh gave the Lady Cats some hope of a rally. The Lady Brahmas got two fly-ball outs and then allowed a two-out single off Bauer’s bat put runners at first and second for the Lady Cats. Hallettsville closed the door by getting a strikeout to end the game at 3-1.
The Hallettsville girls advance to the Region IV finals against George West.
That match-up will be settled by a one-game series tonight, in San Marcos.
Refugio will lose just two seniors off their club and will be looking to go even deeper into the playoffs over the next few years.