Home Runs and Happy Times
EDINBURG – They’re the only program at Vela High School that’s never missed the playoffs. The SaberCat softball team is now in the middle of their deepest playoff run ever.
“We’ve been playing really good defensively,” said coach Jon Maples. “Offensively we’ve been getting hits and bringing runs in and lot leaving girls on base.”
“We have another week of softball,” said senior Audrey Guerra. “For us seniors it’s awesome to have another week and to keep going.”
Before this season, the SaberCats had never been past the 2nd round. They’re now in the 4th round, just two wins away from the Elite 8.
“It’s just been a lot of unity and a lot of hard work,” said senior Naomi Reyes. “The girls worked so hard during the season. During practice we’re working.”
Like every other softball team, the SaberCats have the usual work tools. Gloves bats, and softballs.
But they’ve also got some other tools. Props and costumes make the game a little more fun.
“We wanted to be hyped in our little dugout and to keep everyone going,” said Guerra. “To keep everyone up and happy.”
You name it, they’ve got it.
A chicken hat, check!
A hot dog hat, check!
And even Jar Jar Binks. Who knew that was still a thing?
“It’s getting our fans into it,” said Maples. “That’s the biggest thing, which is what makes the atmosphere more fun for us to have. An atmosphere where not only our players are yelling and cheering, but also our crowd.”
“We’re so united,” said Reyes. “We’re all really close friends on and off the field. It’s just fun in the dugout. When we’re winning, we’re having fun. Playing softball is fun.”
The dugout theatrics have also helped to rattle the opponent. That could be a big advantage in this week’s series against Warren.
“Defensive plays, the offense has to be on,” said Reyes. “My pitching has to be well. The girls just have to stay together and we’ll be okay.”
The best-of-three series will take place at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Game 1 is Friday at 7pm. Game 2 will be Saturday at 12pm. If needed, a third game will follow game 2.