The Tuloso-Midway Cherokees avoided elimination by defeating the Victoria East Lady Titans in a three game series.
Following a 3-2 loss in Game One, the Cherokees bounced back to claim 14-4 and 6-2 victories in games two and three.
Sophomore catcher Roxanne Curiel led the team in Game Two with five RBIs. After only managing two hits in Game One, the girls belted out fourteen in the second game. The offensive showcase ended in five innings on the 10-run rule.
"We knew we had to be disciplined batters, and that's what we worked on," said head coach Sally Lozano. "We had to look for our pitches and go after those."
In Game Three, the Cherokee bats kept humming to grab an early 4-0 lead. In the top of the fifth inning, junior Kirsen Schwirlich hit a solo home run to give the girls a late 6-2 advantage. It was Schwirtlich's second home run of the series and third of the postseason.
"I'm just working a lot harder in the batting cages," said Schwirtlich in reference to her success at the plate.
In the bottom of the final inning, the Lady Titans tried to rally when the lead off batter hit one to deep right field. With the runner rounding third, Megan Tijerina hit cut-off man Destiny Rodriguez who got the ball to Curiel in time for the out at the plate, killing any chance of a comeback.
"No one was ready to go home yet," Schwirtlich said.
Despite losing six seniors from last year's district championship team, these Cherokees have moved further into the playoffs.
"It just proves that everyone was wrong about us," Curiel said. "They thought we were going to be underdogs, but we proved them wrong."
The Cherokees advance to the Region IV quarterfinals where they will play Port-Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs. The Sandcrabs eliminated the Cherokees in last year's playoffs. While a few girls expressed a shot at redemption, Lozano said she believed it didn't matter what opponent they played.
"It's a different team than last year," she said.
The matchup against the Sandcrabs will be a best of three series. Game One will be played tonight in Port Lavaca and Game Two at Tuloso-Midway on Friday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. If needed, Game Three will be played Saturday afternoon in Sinton.