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Tiger softball slays Dragons to reach regional quarterfinals

SAN MARCOS – A no-hitter from senior pitcher Logan Hulon, along with critical offense at key junctures, lifted the Dripping Springs Tigers to a 3-0 win over the San Antonio Southwest Dragons in a May 2 area round battle at Texas State.

“We were going in thinking it’s a one (game) series and we really just wanted to make a statement,” said Tiger Bailey Hudgeons said. “I think we did that tonight.”

Hulon faced a tall task going up against one of the top hitting ball clubs in the state, including taking on former teammate and Dragons’ slugger Aaliyah Ortiz, who hit 22 home runs, 79 RBIs with a .674 batting average during the regular season.

Although Hulon gave up a leadoff walk to Ortiz to start the game, she settled in and attacked Southwest head on with rise balls and screw balls to retire the next 15 batters she faced.

“It was kind of nerve-racking honestly,” said Hulon. “I kind of came in here kind of pressing myself and just being nervous and stressed out. But once we started getting going, I realized that I don’t need the stress. I don’t need to press, and that I have a great defense and great offense behind me.”

Hulon pitched a complete game shutout with 12 strikeouts and three walks. The no-hitter was Hulon’s eighth of the season, a school record for the Dripping Springs softball program.

“I’ve been blessed to coach some great pitchers and she’s one of them,” Tigers head coach Wade Womack said of Hulon’s performance. “She’s just a special player and a special kid. Works hard and she’s been rewarded for it. Now she wants to finish her high school career the right way.”

Hudgeons, who has tallied a school-record 57 RBIs this season, continued her historic pace by going 2-for-3 and bringing home all three Dripping Springs runs against Southwest.

“Bailey’s been a rock star all year long,” Womack said. “She shattered our RBI school record. She’s just seeing the ball real well, she’s having a great approach at the plate. Most importantly she’s catching well too.”

Hudgeons’ double to left field in the first inning scored senior Camille Corona to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead over the Dragons. In the bottom of the fifth, Hudgeons gave Dripping Springs some breathing room after she launched a two-run home run over the left field wall.

“It feels really good that I can be there for my team, and it wasn’t just me either,” Hudgeons said about her three RBIs. “All my teammates getting on base and working together, we all just build each other up. They are the reason I was able to do it.”

Other key contributors for the Tigers were Corona, who went 2-for-3 batting, including a triple that got past the Dragons left fielder. However, Corona was thrown out at home plate as she attempted to extend it to an inside the park home run. Senior Izzy Bermudez and junior Brooke Rummel each had a one hit in the game as well.

The Tigers advance to the regional quarterfinals where they take on the Kerrville Tivy Antlers (25-11-2) in a winner-take-all contest 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

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