District openers don’t get much bigger than Monday’s showdown between the Jourdanton and Natalia softball teams.
The Squaws and Lady Mustangs shared the 26-3A championship last year, and their first matchup this season lived up to the billing.
Jourdanton rallied for three runs in the final inning, topping state-ranked Natalia 5-4 on Allie Touchstone’s walk-off double.
The Lady Mustangs took a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh after back-to-back singles with two outs.
The Squaws loaded the bases after the first three batters of the seventh and pulled within one run when senior Karen Carrasco drew a walk.
The Squaws tied the game two batters later on another walk, this one to Lexi Wheeler.
Touchstone lined the first pitch of the ensuing at-bat into center field to score Kam Guzman and complete the comeback.
Jourdanton totaled 12 hits, led by Cladi Muñoz’s three singles. Natalia finished with 10 hits.
Touchstone went 2 for 5 at the plate, driving in two runs. Carrasco, Wheeler and Kassandra Garcia each had one RBI.
Wheeler picked up the win, allowing three earned runs over seven innings.
The sophomore allowed 10 hits and four walks.
The Squaws took advantage of four Natalia errors in the field but committed two themselves.
The first Jourdanton error helped the Lady Mustangs to an early lead.
Natalia went up 2-0 after the first inning, aided by a one-out fielding error.
The miscue put runners on the corners for the Lady Mustangs, who used consecutive singles to take the early advantage.
The Squaws cut the deficit to one in the second on Garcia’s ground out before tying it in the fourth.
Natalia took the lead back in the ensuing frame after starting the inning with two walks.
Jourdanton will take on the Lady Mustangs again on April 6.