La Feria News

World Class Tournament

PONY International Softball World Series a Big Hit.

RGV Xtreme Heat with their 16U championship banner

By Ruben Rodriguez
La Feria News

With the High School Softball Season long gone, fans got to experience the queens of the diamond with the 2022 PONY International Softball World Series in McAllen. Teams from The United States, Mexico, and even the Czech Republic took part in the four-day tournament. With coverage on Rio Sports Live, Let’s break down the PONY International World Series.

Thursday saw the opening day of the tournament. From the start, multiple teams showed they were powerhouses with well-rounded offenses and defenses. Teams like Premier Fastpitch 18U, American Gulf Coast Thunder 18U, Glory Adkins 18U, and RGV Pride.

Early on in the World Series, Mexico displayed its dominance as teams from Mexico City, Culiacan, Hermosillo, Mexicali and Chihuahua played standout softball. In the elimination rounds of the 14U Tournament, Texas Thundersticks faced off against Chihuahua. In the First two innings, Texas collected three runs in the first two innings. After a defensive battle, Chihuahua pulled off a walkoff comeback 5-3 to advance to the next round. In the 12U Title game, Hermosillo Sonora Mexico would win to capture Mexico’s second championship in the 2022 World Series.

Team Mexico with mascot

Saturday saw the 14U World Series title between Mexicali and Culiacan, heading into the qualifiers for the PONY World Series, Culiacan and Mexicali met on three different occasions, with all three games going into extra innings. Mexicali’s offense wasted no time, scoring five runs within the first two innings. Mexicali’s potent offense was led by the dominant pitching of Yadira Estrella, who recorded seven strikeouts. Mexicali would go on to defeat Culiacan to capture the 14U International World Series Championship.

Sunday saw an incredible matchup between Chihuahua and RGV Xtreme Heat out of the Rio Grande Valley. Chihuahua, who has been a formidable opponent, rode into the matchup with confidence from Tobi, a stuffed pig who is the team’s official mascot. The only team to carry a mascot to the PONY World Series, Chihuahua defeated Xtreme Heat to force one more game. Xtreme Heat would go on to win 5-0 to capture the 16U championship. With the win, Xtreme Heat was the only RGV Team to capture a championship.

The 18U Title game saw Glory Adkins take on RGV Premier Fastpitch in a back and forth battle that went into eight innings in what was supposed to be a timed game of 75 minutes. As time went on, borth Premier and Glory loaded up the bases and collected hit after hit but the teams remained scoreless. Both teams finally scored runs in extra innings. For Premier Fastpich, Sarah Menard pitched a complete game and played exceptional defense, Menard recorded a total of eight outs herself, including one strikeout, five 1-3 groundouts, two pop-ups and one line drive back to the circle. Despite the hard-fought efforts of Menard and company, Glory would win 3-2 off a wild pitch, bringing in Anissa Hill from Third.

Truly an exciting weekend for softball fans around the RGV. The 2022 PONY International World Series delivered and lived up to its billing, Four days of great softball, and experiences of cultures and hearing the stories of the teams journey through the qualifiers. Fans are already looking ahead to 2023.

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