Judson softball falls short of UIL Class 6A State title in 1-0 loss to Deer Park

Rockets’ historic season ends as state runners-up with 35-3 overall record

AUSTIN – Tension mounted throughout the UIL Class 6A state softball title game between Judson and Deer Park at Red & Charline McCombs Field on Saturday night. Both teams worked themselves into and out of multiple jams, putting zeroes on the board in a back-and-forth scoreless tie.

Deer Park just made one more play.

With two on in the top of the 6th, Erin Perez drove in Reanna Nieman for the eventual game-winning run, and the Rockets couldn’t muster an answer on the scoreboard, as they fall a win short of the state title, 1-0. Judson finished the season with a 35-3 overall record

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions,” junior second baseman Mimi Thornton said. “It was a battle of who wants it more, and we really did want it more, but it just didn’t come through at the end of the game.”

“Things happened,” said junior center fielder Keely Williams explained. “We didn’t make it as far as we wanted to, but at the end, we just loved each other. Our bond with each other is just special.”

The Rockets worked the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a pair of singles and a walk, but Hannah Benavides navigated her way out of the jam with a strikeout and flyout. That was the fourth time over the first six innings that the Rockets put runners in scoring position and couldn’t bring them home. Destiny Rodriguez flew out to center field for the final out of the game.

“I feel like we were a little on edge,” head coach Theresa Urbanovsky said. “We were not in tune with ourselves in the first couple innings. Emily [Ayala] did an amazing job getting through some really tough innings. We gave up extra outs, and she responded so well. More than anything I’m proud. They were so resilient, and finished the way you want to finish a season. Number two in the state is not a bad thing, but that won’t define us. This journey defined us.”

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