HOUSTON, TX -- The eighth-ranked Blinn College softball team moved into first place in the Region XIV Conference South Zone with a double-header sweep of the San Jacinto Coyotes here Wednesday evening.
Blinn defeated San Jacinto 6-3 and 6-1 to take a one-game lead atop the South Zone standings with two games remaining in the regular season. The victories avenged a pair of losses the Buccaneers suffered at the Coyotes’ hands in March, and allowed the Bucs to leapfrog San Jacinto for the league lead.
“I guess we returned the favor,” said Blinn coach Rick Church, whose Buccaneers improved to 43-8 on the season and 19-3 in conference play.
Thomasina Garza drove in five runs on the day, including three in the opening victory.
Blinn’s offense started the day slowly, as the Coyotes held them off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when they rallied to take a 4-2 lead. Garza, Kristina Davila and Michelle Svehla each drove in runs in the inning.
“It was getting a little late, but as long as there’s time left in the game we’ll take it,” Church said.
Blinn extended its lead in the seventh as Leandra Maly and Tiffani McKnight each singled and Garza followed with a two-run single. The hit came on a 3-0 count.
“She’s always been a cool customer at the plate,” Church said. “She never gets rattled, never gets overwhelmed. She likes to be in those situations.
“She’s really dialed in at the plate.”
Sophomore Kaci Federwisch (21-6) threw the complete game without granting a walk. Two of San Jacinto’s runs came on balls that didn’t get out of the infield.
Davila got the Buccaneer offense going early in the second game, blasting a two-run home run to get the Bucs on the board in the second inning, and in the fourth McKnight singled before Garza followed with a two-run homer.
Jocelyn Tacquard (4-1) threw five innings to earn the win in her longest outing since returning from injury. Shannon Sain threw 1 2/3 innings before Federwisch was called upon to record the final out.
The Bucs will conclude the regular season with a 1 p.m. double-header Saturday against Lamar State-Port Arthur. After that, they’ll play Region XIV Softball Tournament at Angelina College on May 3-6. The Region XIV Tournament champion earns a berth to the NJCAA National Championships.