Flexing their muscle
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COTULLA COWGIRLS SOFTBALL
COTULLA OVERCOMES LIGHTNING DELAY, SLOW START, CRUSHES NATALIA TO EARN DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP
Cotulla overcame a lightning delay and a slow start in clinching the outright District 28-3A softball championship with a 6-1 win over Natalia on Friday, April 14.
The title is the second in three years for the Cowgirls. The team won the 27-3A championship in 2021. Cotulla clinched a playoff berth and will take on the 27-3A fourth place team in the first round of the playoffs.
In cruising to the title, the team has allowed only eight runs over its last five games, with six of those runs coming in a 17-6 win over Hondo on April 6.
“As far as winning the district championship, it definitely means so much to our team in so many different ways,” CHS Head Coach George Martinez said. “First and foremost, it shows the results of the discipline, structure, teamwork, and commitment these athletes have shown. The work they put in at every practice, whether it’s working on things that need improvement or working on small intricate parts of the game, their hard work is alway evident.
“Obviously, there are other parts that are directly responsible for such an accomplishment; our coaches, who work tirelessly to ensure these girls are prepared mentally and physically for each game. Ultimately, winning a district championship is a great sense of pride for our softball program and our community.”
Cotulla clinched no worse than a tie for first place on Tuesday, April 11 with a 4-1 victory over second place Lytle. The team then cemented the crown with a 6-1 decision at Natalia Friday evening.
Neither victory came easily as the Cowgirls had to rally in both outings to secure the wins. Lytle led 1-0 in the second before Cotulla plated three runs in the third and added a fourth run in the fifth. Natalia belted a third inning solo homerun to also take a 1-0 lead over the Cowboys before Cotulla rallied in that outing as well.
Defensively, the Cowgirls locked down both opponents and combined for 12 scoreless innings in the two wins.
“We had a slow start, but once the girls refocused, they were able to come back strong,” Martinez said of his team. “I feel like our team is playing at a very high level, they play smart, and are always ready to respond to any situation.
“There are always things that need to be improved on, individually or as a team. One thing that I feel we need to get better at as we begin our playoff run is being able to figure out the opposing team quicker and not allow for that slow start at the beginning of the game.”
In securing a second title in three years, Coach Martinez lauded the support of the school district and community.
“From our sole field maintenance man, who has our field ready for us each and every day, to our athletic directors for their continued support, our transportation department who gets us there and back safely, and all aspects of our administration for Cotulla ISD,” he said. “And of course, the fan support, from parents, to family members, community members and both city and county officials, the fan support is tremendous.”
Cotulla will likely take on San Antonio West Campus in the first round of the playoffs although game specifics were not settled as of presstime.
Cotulla improved to 22-3 overall and 8-0 in 28-3A. The team is currently ranked eighth in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 3A State Softball Poll.