AUSTIN, Texas (KTSM) – The greatest season in Americas softball history came to an end on Friday afternoon with a 7-5 loss to Northside O’Connor in the Class 6A state semifinals in Austin.
Americas became only the second El Paso softball team to ever make the Final 4 and played with one of the best teams in the entire nation for a full seven innings.
“It’s been a hell of a last four years for these seniors. They did great things as freshmen and last year too,” said head coach Roxanne Luna. “This year, we had a great run. These girls were running on pure fire and love in their hearts and I’m incredibly proud of everything they did.”
The Trail Blazers (33-7) acquitted themselves nicely on the big stage at the University of Texas, taking an early 3-0 lead after one inning. Christalynne Sepulveda ripped a single to left to score the opening run, then Sabrina Carrillo doubled down the left field line to score two more runs in the top of the first.
From there, O’Connor settled in and took a 4-3 lead on an RBI double in the bottom of the third inning. However, Americas didn’t go quietly from there. The Trail Blazers scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to retake a 5-4 lead.
But it was O’Connor (31-1) that made the plays in the final 3.5 innings in order to push themselves over the top. With the game tied at five in the bottom of the fourth, Jada Munoz hit a towering, two-run home run to left field to give the Panthers a 7-5 lead that would hold for the rest of the game.
Oregon State signee Sydney Saenz represented the tying run for Americas at the plate with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but Saenz struck out swinging to end the Trail Blazers’ incredible run two wins shy of the ultimate goal.
“It’s great. I think we’ll go down in history for sure,” said Saenz. “I’m glad that we’ll be able to come back down and, you know, come back to our school and say, like we were out there, like that’s our team and stuff. I love that.”
Eight seniors will now graduate from Americas and go play at the collegiate level, proving that the Trail Blazers were truly one of the best teams to ever come out of the Sun City. Americas and Bel Air are the only two teams to ever make the Final Four in Austin.
“I love that we left a mark on El Paso and that we have our whole community supporting us right now,” said senior Brianna Garcia. “It was a fun ride.”