It certainly wasn't the way she wanted to end the season.
Tuloso-Midway stand out Kirsten Schwirtlich hit a two-run home run off her cousin, New Braunfels Canyon pitcher Sara Mireles. While Schwirtlich's home run added to a very impressive postseason, the only thing it achieved was avoiding an early exit on the 10-run rule.
The Cherokees season came to an end this past weekend, losing to the Canyon Cougarettes 4-2 and 12-4 in the Region IV semifinals. The team matched the farthest the school had ever gone into the playoffs.
"I'm very proud of them," said Coach Sally Lozano. "I think my girls showed a lot of heart this season, a lot of dedication and determination. We definitely passed expectations of what people thought we were going to do."
Scwirtlich and Mireles each pitched solidly through the first five innings of Game One, heading into the sixth with a scoreless tie.
The Cougarettes would score in the top of the sixth off a single RBI.
Roxanne Curiel would tie the game with a single RBI. Three batters later, Jessica Garcia would do the same to take the late 2-1 lead.
The Cherokees appeared to be on their way to wrap up the victory before a wild throw to first allowed the Cougarettes to tie the game at two. Canyon catcher Krystina Holguin would hit a two-run home run the next at bat to take a 4-2 lead. The Canyon defense held in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the game one win.
The late error foreshadowed to many occurring the second game. The Cougarettes scored nine unanswered runs in the first two innings. With a 9-1 deficit, the Cherokees poor fielding made it difficult to stage any sort of comeback.
The Cherokees will lose four seniors from their 2011 team, Jessica Garcia, Ashley Valdez, Megan Tijerina, and Ashley Garcia. Two will continue their careers in the college ranks with Jessica Garcia going to Texas Lutheran and Valdez heading to Coastal Bend College.
Despite the losses, T-M looks to bring back a very young and battle-tested team for 2012.
"I think we're going to come back next year with the same work ethic and heart," Lozano said. "We just have to make sure we have that defense in those big games."