The Tuloso-Midway Cherokees continued their impressive post season run, defeating the Port Lavaca Sandies in the Regional Quarterfinals.
The Cherokees took the best-of-three series with 3-2 and 4-3 victories.
Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning, it appeared the Cherokees were going to drop the first game. But much like she's done on several occasions this season, catcher Roxanne Curiel made a big play to bring the team back for a victory.
"I'm not going to lie and say that there wasn't some panic," Curiel said. "But I knew we needed to get a rally."
With two outs and two runners on base, Curiel hit a fly ball that dropped in shallow centerfield. The hit brought in Kirsten Schwirtlich for the Cherokees first run. Coach Sally Lozano signaled for runner Ashley Elizondo to round third for a late tie. As Elizondo made her way to the plate, Port Lavaca catcher Tiffany Castillo missed a wild throw from the outfield.
Castillo's attempt to get Elizondo at the plate went wild as well, allowing both Elizondo and Curiel to come in for the 3-2 lead.
"To me, as long as I scored, my team was helped," Curiel said. "We wanted it bad."
The Cherokee defense held in the bottom of the seventh with a three-up, three-down to end the game.
In Game Two, Schwirtlich controlled the Sandies from the mound by hurling 12 strikeouts, giving her a total of 20 in the series.
At the plate, Schwirtlich drove in two runs in the third inning to give the Cherokees a 3-0 lead. The Sandies were able to battle back throughout the game, but the Cherokees early cushion was enough to hold on for the 4-3 win.
T-M advances to the Regional Semi-Finals where they will face a state powerhouse in the New Braunfels Canyon Cougarettes. The Cougarettes have made it the the State Tournament the last two years, winning the championship in 2009.
The playoff will be a best-of-three series. Games One and Two will be played Thursday and Friday, both at 7 p.m.. If needed, Game Three will be played Saturday. All games will be played in Pleasanton.