SEGUIN, Texas -- The Bryan Harvey Major Girls needed extra innings and a wild pitch Sunday to help them claim the Texas East State Championship.
Harvey, which had lost its opener in the tournament, punched its ticket to the Southwest Regionals in Waco when Bre Warren raced home on a wild pitch to give Harvey a 2-1 extra-innings victory over Ingleside Little League.
Earlier, Harvey defeated Ingleside 12-10, to force the winner-take-all finale, which was a nail bitter from start to finish. Harvey’s only loss in the tournament was a 4-3 decision against Ingleside.
Harvey will open the Southwest Regional on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the George W. Bush Little League Center against the winner of New Mexico vs. Texas West.
Sunday’s double-dip of an opponent was the second consecutive for Harvey, which defeated La Grange twice on the final day of the Texas East Section 1 Tournament to advance to state.
In the final game, both Harvey and Ingleside benefitted from terrific pitching and clutch defense. Faith Fernandez went the distance for Harvey to get the win. Fernandez struck out 11, allowing three hits and one unearned run.
Ingleside hurler Breanna Reyna was just as sharp, striking out five while yielding six hits and one earned run. When the game went extra innings, however, Reyna had to leave the circle because she had reached the daily limit of 12 innings pitched.
Warren started the seventh with an infield single off Ingleside reliever Felicity Adame and then easily stole second base. Nicole Goggin grounded out moving Warren to third in the process.
Adame then uncorked a wild pitch and Warren raced home, just sliding under the tag to end the extra-inning thriller.
Both teams had traffic on the base paths in the early going, but neither was able to capitalize.
Harvey had the first scoring chance in the third inning when Hannah Schnettler tripled to the fence in left-center with two outs, but Harvey could not get her home as Reyna got a ground ball to end the inning.
In the fourth, Ingleside’s Jolyssa Suniga reached on an error and eventually moved to third with one out. Suniga tried to score on a pitch that sailed over the head of Harvey catcher Addie Wright, but the ball bounced back to Wright and she was able to tag Suniga to end the inning.
Harvey again got a runner to third in the bottom of the fourth inning when Julia Rubino, who was 2-for-3, singled, stole second and took third on a sacrifice by Wright. But once again Harvey couldn’t capitalize.
Harvey broke through in the sixth inning on back-to-back singles by Jade Chavarria and Fernandez, with Chavarria scoring later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Ingleside evened things in the sixth on a walk, an infield hit and an error that allowed Suniga to score the tying run.
In the first game of the day, Harvey found itself down 6-0 after one inning and 9-2 after two, but five runs in the third and three more in the fourth gave Harvey a lead it would not relinquish.
Fernandez and Goggin split the pitching duties, each going three innings, with Fernandez getting the win and Goggin the save.
Offensively Harvey had 14 hits including 3-for-4 performances from both Goggin and Fernandez. Fernandez’s effort included a triple and a run batted in, while Goggin’s three hits included a double.
Schnettler, Mariya Reyes and Rubino each had two hits. Schnettler had a triple and drove in two runs, Rubino had a double and drove in two runs, and Reyes drove in one run. Wright and Angel Cumpian each added a hit, with Wright picking up an RBI.
Defensively, Schnettler turned an unassisted double play when she snagged a hard liner to rob Ingleside’s Amanda Clarkson of extra bases, then stepped on first to double off Reyna.
Schnettler was also part of a double play in the second game when Warren tracked down a Reyna fly ball in center then fired to Schnettler at first to double off the Ingleside runner.
Other defensive standouts on the day for Harvey were Reyes at third, Goggin at second, Wright at catcher and Rubino in left.
Front row (left to right): Faith Fernandez, Jade Chavarria, Mariya Reyes, Angel Cumpian Back row: Coach Greg Chavarria, Leah Snelgrove, Nicole Goggin, Julia Rubino, Coach Mike Cumpian, Hannah Schnettler, Manager Ray Prewitt, Addie Wright, Bre Warren