Holy cross

Holy Cross softball focus on future after defending state title

After winning back-to-back state championships, Holy Cross will naturally focus his efforts on winning another.

“I’m ready for this,” Holy Cross junior pitcher Gia Reynosa said. “I’m very excited about this, and I believe we can do this. We are losing three seniors who were a big part of our squad, but I think we will work even harder to make it three times.

Reynosa allowed just one hit in the Knights’ four playoff games. She was particularly dominant on May 20 in the TAPPS Division III Championship, striking out 18 in the third no-hitter of the state series as Holy Cross (24-6-1) beat Lubbock Trinity Christian (17-9 ) 4-0 at Allan Saxe Field on the University of Texas-Arlington campus.

“All the girls are always supporting you,” said junior second baseman Bella Delgado, whose three-RBI double was the hit. “We work every day just to improve ourselves, so that we can achieve this achievement.”

The Knights put up staggering numbers while finishing the season with a 12-game winning streak. Reynosa struck out 28 in two state tournament games. The junior has thrown shutouts in the last nine games of the season. Holy Cross outscored the opposition 45-0 in their championship run.

“Gia was great,” Holy Cross coach Angel Cedillo said. “She was putting more spin on the ball and hitting her spots. Every time we asked her to change gears, she was spot on. She keeps getting better.

“She’s a hard worker and she takes nothing for granted.”

Reynosa was one of four stars on the Holy Cross first team, along with second-year shortstop Mikayla Arce, senior third baseman Alyssa Barrera and Delgado. Second-year wide receiver Emma Garcia was a second-team selection.

“Gia is the one with the ball in her hands,” Cedillo said, “but all the girls have been focused. That’s why they’re consistent.

Reynosa hit two homers and Barrera hit one in the state semifinal as Holy Cross crushed Houston Cypress Christian (22-4-2) 17-0 in just four innings.

The Knights have staged five-run rallies in three of those four innings. But they only needed one rally in the championship game.

It came in the second inning after Garcia sent a brace to the left field wall and Angie Medrano threw a single across the infield for a 1-0 lead.

Jenna Arguello walked and senior Marissa Rodriguez charged the bases with a field single, elevating Delgado.

“I had four or five foul balls in a row,” Delgado said of his one-two clearing goal. “When I got to a 3-2 count, I had one in the middle. I wanted it to continue, to be able to help the team.

Holy Cross was down to just one scoring threat, when Reynosa doubled up and the Lions made a double play before Arce’s so-called RBI single. Lions first-year pitcher Corey Fortner has allowed just four hits over the last four innings.

“We played Trinity Christian last year in regionals, but they were a young team that improved,” Cedillo said. “Their pitcher was just a freshman, but she knew what she was doing with the pitch location and the gear changes.”

Trinity Christian had scored 35 points in his previous two games but never mustered a scoring threat. Reynosa knocked out the Lions in order in the seventh to secure the title.

She was unaware of the no-hitter or the 18 strikeouts.

“When I throw, I pass out,” Reynosa said. “I go to an area where I only focus on what I have to do.”

It is difficult to criticize the results.