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Tiffany Castillo's inside-the-park homer the difference as Calhoun sweeps Tuloso-Midway

By jhornberg
May 8, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

Cecilia Castillo struck out eight and held Tuloso-Midway to one run on six hits, helping Calhoun advance to the regional semifinal with a 2-1 win over the Cherokees.

PORT LAVACA - Daniel Castillo wasn't going to stop her. He was willing to take the chance.

Tiffany Castillo had driven a ball to right field with Kati May on second. The right fielder for Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway dove for the ball, and missed it completely, letting it roll all the way to the right field fence and leaving their center fielder, who was shading more to left, to run over and field it.

There was a chance for her to reach home with the ball so deep, and the Sandies' coach decided he had to take the opportunity.

"It's going to be a bang-bang play," the coach said. "I wasn't going to take the chance for it to go 1-1 and last forever. We had the one-game lead, so I took the chance."

May had scored, and now Tiffany was charging toward third. Castillo gave her the sign to go, and the sophomore catcher rounded third headed for home, puzzled.

"I thought I wasn't going to make it, but somehow I ended up making it home," she said. "I thought they'd already had brought it in, I was freaking out, I was like, 'Oh God, I gotta still run!'"

The throw was late, and she scored standing up.

It was the only two runs the Sandies (29-7, 10-2) scored, and it was all they needed in a pitchers duel between Calhoun's Cecilia Castillo and Tuloso-Midway's Emily Brittain.

Led by Tiffany Castillo's home run and her sister Cecilia's brilliant pitching, the Sandies locked up their first area championship Saturday with a 2-1 win over a powerful Tuloso-Midway team (26-3, 14-0) that finished the season ranked third overall in Class 4A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.

The previous two seasons, Calhoun had been eliminated in the area final, coach Castillo said.

"I told the girls the third year's the charm, and I told the seniors if they want it, they have to go get it," he said. "And [Naomi Trevino] made a good play in center field, and Cecilia made a good play. It's great to have a senior on the mound that wants to keep on playing."

Trevino, the senior centerfielder, made the catch of the game to end the fifth inning, diving to steal a sure run-scoring double to end the inning and prevent the Cherokees, who were threatening with a runner in scoring position, from tying the game.

The Sandies' offense belonged to Tiffany Castillo. But just as important was the single by designated player Kati May, who served as the tying run when Tiffany stepped in.

"I was tired of not doing enough for my team, I decided I had to get on," May said. "Once I hit, everyone's adrenaline got going."

Runs proved to be scarce for both teams, as Cecilia Castillo and the Cherokees' Emily Brittain held each other's lineup in check. Castillo finished with eight strikeouts and one walk and allowing one run on six hits.

Brittain ended the game with five strikeouts and no walks, and held the Sandies to just four hits. After the fourth, when she gave up three of those hits and both runs, Brittain sat the Sandies down in order for the remainder of the game.

Calhoun will play Alice, which rallied back with two wins on Saturday after losing Game 1 of its best of three series Friday night to San Antonio Harlandale. Locations, dates and times for the regional quarterfinal series have not been set.

Calhoun 2, Tuloso-Midway 1

TM 001 000 0 - 1 6 0

CH 002 000 x - 2 4 4

Emily Brittain and Christina Villalon. Cecilia Castillo and Tiffany Castillo. WP-C. Castillo, LP-Brittain. Highlights: (CH) Tiffany Castillo 1-for-3, 2-run HR (inside the park), 2 RBI; Cecilia Castillo (hitting) 2-for-3, SB; (pitching) CG, 8 K, 1 BB, 1 ER, 6 H; (TM) Emily Brittain (pitching) CG, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K. Records: Calhoun (29-7, 10-2); Tuloso-Midway (26-3, 14-0). Note: Calhoun wins series 2-0, will play Alice in the regional quarterfinals.

From Friday

Calhoun 2, Tuloso-Midway 1

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