By Pat Turner
Warren’s magical softball playoff season came to a close Friday night in a 2-0 loss to New Braunfels Canyon in a one-game Region V championship bout.
Canyon was making its fourth straight appearance in the regional finals after falling in that round in previous tries against San Benito, Weslaco, and Brennan.
Vestal broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run in the fourth and Pritchett added an RBI double in the seventh.
Because of Canyon’s sound pitching, the Warriors had limited scoring opportunities as three baserunners reached base (walks).
Despite coming up short, Warren made the Cougarettes work for everything.
Freshman pitcher Annika Litterio turned in another solid showing, scattering eight hits and relying on her defense, which turned a double play in the second. The twin-killing came when center fielder Lauren Garcia snagged a liner and fired the ball to shortstop Austin Germain to double the Canyon runner at second.
Although it was a disappointing ending, the Warriors accomplished plenty.
This was Warren’s second playoff appearance in the program’s history. It was also the first time the Warriors won a post-season contest. That came in a 5-3 bi-district victory over Smithson Valley.
After that, Warren got on a roll, sweeping Austin Lake Travis, O’Connor and Edinburg Vela to reach the finals.
What made the experience so impressive was senior catcher Briana Arrendondo was the Warriors’ only senior, meaning the rest of the lineup consisted of underclassmen.
“It was a great year,” Warren coach Melanie Morales said. “We had great support all year. The first playoff win was memorable. We had the fans and the coaching staff. It The players believed in themselves. It was the start of this journey.”
With the rest of the nucleus returning, the outlook for more success appears bright.
“We did so much this year,” said Arredondo, who is headed to A&M International to play softball. “I know they’re going to do damage next year and the years after that. I think we started something special.”
For images from the game, logon to https://echosportszone.pixieset.com/warrenvsnbcanyonregionalfinals-jessicawhite/
If you were not able to attend the game a recording of the game can be found here