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Refugio hopes strong defense lifts it to state tournament

By Keldy Ortiz
May 22, 2013 at 12:22 a.m.
Updated May 23, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.

Refugio pitcher Cecilia Bauer delivers a pitch against Boling last week.

Class 2A Regional Final

Refugio vs. Santa Gertrudis Academy

One Game. 7 p.m. Thursday, Cabaniss Field, Corpus Christi

REFUGIO - The Refugio Lady Cats believe playing defense will help them win against Santa Gertrudis Academy.

Their softball coach Cortney Hunkapillar believes that, too.

During practice Tuesday, the majority of the team's time was dedicated to fielding and making routine plays. The first year coach said she wants the team's success from last week to bleed over to Thursday's Region IV-2A final.

"We have to keep hitting like we have been and playing defense as strong as we've been," she said. "We have to take it one game at a time, one play at a time."

For the Lady Cats (22-5), this season has been the most successful one in school history. The team wants to end this season with a win and believes it can.

In her final season wearing a Refugio uniform, Cecilia Bauer wants the team to succeed. Bauer, who will be the starting pitcher Thursday, said she's not nervous at all to step on the field.

"I feel like everyone has my back when I'm on the mound," she said. "This team may not have been as talented as the other teams, but the heart and dedication, that's more important than the talent."

The team has not had a problem getting runs on the scoreboard, as it scored 14 runs in the regional semifinal against Boling.

The Lady Cats, however, don't take credit for being more competitive than in years past: They had help off the field.

"(Hunkapillar is) a coach that is willing to take us to state. She's been working our butts off to get us here," said senior Irene Gallegos. "Everyone is committed to go as far as we can and trying our hardest without giving up."

Assessing the year, Hunkapillar said the season has been a successful one.

"Our girls have overcome obstacles," she said. "There were not that many people that thought we would go this far. Every point from here on out is a win, in my opinion."

On their field, the Lady Cats posted the word "STATE" in their dugout. They posted this before the playoffs, and each time they win, they color in a letter. All that is missing is E if they win Thursday.

"Our goals were to win district, make it to state, win state," said junior Morgan Klaevemann. "We're closer to our second goal."

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