Canyon plays Leander

Dee Dee Baldwin hits a home run for Canyon against Leander Friday, April 28, 2023 at Canyon High School. Baldwin has two homers May 19 against Flour Bluff.

BEEVILLE — In a one-game regional semifinal, Canyon softball defeated Flour Bluff 8-1 Friday at A.C. Jones High School.

With the win, the Cougars maintain their perfect 29-0 record and advance to their first Region IV-5A final since 2019, where the team lost to eventual state runner-up Klein Collins. The year prior, in 2018, Canyon made it all the way to the state final, falling to Atascocita.

Head coach Kevin Randle compared those past Canyon teams earlier in the week with his current crop of players.

“There were a couple of years where my teams were super, extremely competitive,” he said. “They would compete hard with each other on a daily basis, which pushed them and made them better. This group is similar to that…They are competitive. They showed us that from the offseason, this group was a little more competitive within the group, which then carries on to competing against other teams.”

Against the Hornets, the Cougars were evenly matched, tied 1-1 midway through the third, before popping off in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer from senior catcher Dee Dee Baldwin out to center field for a 4-1 lead.

Baldwin homered again in the fifth, this time a solo shot out to left field, bringing the Cougars’ advantage to 5-1.

They scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth as Sabrina Servantes ran home on a fielding error, and Harley Vestal hit a two-RBI single, ensuring the blowout.

Canyon senior pitcher Haley Carmona picked up the win in the circle. She struggled early in the ballgame, walking three batters and hitting another with a pitch in the top of the first, leading the Hornets to score 1-0. However, she collected herself, closing out the frame with a pair of strikeouts, leaving three runners stranded.

Carmona continued to have a productive outing with 10 strikeouts, allowing six hits, one run and three walks through seven innings.

The Cougars will be back on the field in the regional finals next week.

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