The defending Class 3A State Champion Santa Gertrudis Academy Softball team went a perfect 12-0 in District 31-3A play to claim their third consecutive district title after defeating the London Lady Pirates, 5-0, on Tuesday night.
Both teams struggled to get any hits going in the first three innings of play, until the bottom of the third inning when Jackie Garza grounded out to let Ariana De La Paz and Bre Carr score.
The Lady Lions would score three more in the next two innings to keep a steady hold on the lead for the victory.
Carissa De Los Santos pitched the shutout for the Lady Lions. She had 13 strikeouts in the contest and only had one batter get a hold of a pitch for a base hit.
Coach Thomas De Los Santos said his team is young, so he expected some hiccups during the season.
However, to his surprise, they’ve outperformed his expectations. As of Wednesday, they were ranked third in the state in Class 3A.
“They really impressed me you know; I knew they were going to be able to help us, but they’ve helped us at a level that I didn’t expect,” De Los Santos said. “You know, a lot of (our wins) were by shutout, and our defense has been there for our pitching staff. Our pitching staff has been holding their own as well. We’re going to have to take one week at a time now getting ready for the playoffs. You know, it’s a hard road back (to the state finals), but it’s one that we’re definitely going to fight every week for.”
De Los Santos said his pitching rotation will remain consistent between Jaci Salinas and Carissa De Los Santos, considering the success they’ve had so far, and he knows if “push comes to shove” they’ll be able to help each other out.
“If one is struggling, the other one’s going to come in,” De Los Santos said. “We’re going to use both of them every chance we get. They both had injuries during the season; I don’t think I’ve had them both at 100-percent since maybe our first game or the preseason, but you know what, sometimes we play one game, I might just go with the one, maybe split when we go with a series. They’re both going to get their name called.”