Cassandra Valdez threw a perfect game in game one.
Cassandra Valdez threw a perfect game in game one.

Valdez Throws Perfect Game in Doubleheader Shutout Against Southwest

HOBBS, N.M. (March 14, 2024) – The No. 1-ranked Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) softball team allowed only one hit in the doubleheader shutout against the University of the Southwest (USW) on Thursday. The Saints improve to 27-1 overall and 8-0 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). The Mustangs drop to 9-11 overall and 0-3 in the RRAC. The Saints have won 23 straight contests.

Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, "We pitched and played about as well as we have all year. Cassandra Valdez set the tone with her perfect game in game one and Ava Hernandez followed suit with a one-hitter in game two. Our situational hitting helped us throughout the doubleheader. I can't wait to start a very important homestand on Tuesday."

Game one

Cassandra Valdez pitched a perfect game to open the doubleheader. She struck out 13 of 15 batters faced to earn the win. Valdez is still undefeated in the circle with 11 wins. She set the Saints record for shut outs with 18 in her career. Kayla Dreese hit a solo home run in the first inning to begin the scoring. Natalie Rodriguez, Grace Ross and Ava Hernandez all hit solo home runs in the third inning to grow the lead to 4-0. Kristee Salas and Eneli Garza scored on errors on separate plays in the fourth inning. Ross smacked another solo home run in the fifth inning to put the Saints up 7-0. Hernandez stole home on a double steal later in the inning to complete the five-inning 8-0 run rule victory.  

Game two

Hernandez followed Valdez' perfect game with a great performance in the circle. She allowed only one hit and struck out 10 of 18 batters to grab the win. Hernandez is now 13-1 on the season. The first run was scored in the second inning when Bradi Hill hit a ground out RBI that brought home Hernandez. Ross singled in the third inning to score Valdez, and Hernandez later singled to score Rodriguez. Valdez hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to increase OLLU's lead to 5-0. Her home run tied Ariel Montgomery in career home runs with 33. Madison Garza doubled in the fifth frame to score Hernandez. Garza later scored on an error to finish the game in five innings with the Saints winning 9-0.

Up next

The Saints host Huston-Tillotson University for a doubleheader on March 19 starting at 1 p.m.