GPHS Girls Softball Post Season Honors

The Galena Park Softball program brought to a close a very successful season with their banquet that honored both the team and individuals.  The team finished their season 17-13 overall and finished 10-6 in district play earning the third place seed after an extra innings play-in game.  They carried that momentum into the Bi-district game beating HISD’s Austin High School and bringing home a Bi-district championship.  The Lady Jackets also finished as runner-up in the North Shore Varsity Tournament.  As for individual accolades the following varsity Lady Jackets for earned All-District Honors for the 2016-2017 Softball Season.

First Team All-District
Senior, Pitcher Alexis Valdez
Junior, Infielder Bailey Richey
Senior, Infielder Izairiz Vazquez
Junior, Utility Ashley Colunga

Second Team All-District
Junior, Catcher Julia Vazquez
Senior, Infielder Breanna Garza
Senior, Outfielder Christina Herrera
Senior, Outfielder Angelica Rodriguez

Honorable Mention All-District
Sophomore, Outfielder Laila Gonzalez
Junior, DP & Pitcher Kassandra Vargas

Academic All-District
Senior, Jossie Enriquez
Senior, Stephanie Garcia
Senior, Christina Herrera
Senior, Brianna Mata
Senior, Angelica Rodriguez
Junior, Bailey Richey
Sophomore, Laila Gonzalez




The Yellowjackets Advance to Playoffs

The Yellow Jackets played a single bi-district game against HISD’s Austin High School at Channelview on Friday, April 28th. It was a full house and both teams were well represented. The last time a Galena Park softball team advanced beyond the first round of playoffs was 2003, but the drought is over! Senior Alexis Valdez pitched a no hit shutout. Alexis recorded ten strike outs in five innings work. Austin had only three base runners (two walks and one fielding error). Galena Park, on the other hand, had no problems finding base. Free passes were not the problem for Austin’s pitching. They threw the ball in the zone and the Jacket’s bats flew.  18 runs were scored on 20 hits. Contributions were made up and down the lineup but extra bases were earned as follows: Junior Bailey Richey 2 triples, juniors Ashley Colunga and Julia Vazquez and senior Christina Herrera a triple each, and senior Iriz Vazquez a double. Seven Jackets recorded multiple hits on the evening and Christina Herrera recorded 6 RBIs. While there were moments Galena Park base runners did leave base early to move the game along, it should be noted that Austin’s defense forced the Jackets to play five innings before the run rule was accomplished.  Galena Park will face Barbers Hill on Friday, May 5th at North Shore Senior High School to play games @ 5:00 and 7:00. A third game will be played on Saturday, May 6th @ 2:00 if needed.  This will be a very tough series but the Jackets are going to give it all they have!

GP Softball



The Frantic Final Four Days to Playoffs!

Galena Park traveled to Willowridge Friday, April 21st for the last game of the regular season.  The JV team recorded their seventh district win ending their season three and one half games above .500. The combined efforts of freshman Alayna Cain’s pitching, effective defense, and hot bats made this one an easy 15-2 victory. The varsity Jackets needed the win to remain in contention for a playoff berth. They got the job done in three innings. Junior, Bailey Richey pitched a no hit shutout and went three for three at the plate with two doubles. Senior, Alexis Valdez also added a double to her slugging percentage. Junior powerhouse, Ashley Colunga went deep…again! She now boasts five homeruns on the season.  It was senior night for Willowridge. The sentiments of the graduating class reflected the positive aspects of their softball program. Seniors sited softball as having instilled qualities such as cooperation, work ethic, and respect for others in their lives. Their joyous post game celebration spoke to a successful season regardless of their win/loss record. 

Although G.P. finished strong they required help to maintain playoff hopes. The Jackets needed Manvel to beat Texas City in order to force a three way tie for the remaining playoff spots. Texas City had the lead for much of the game but Manvel battled and claimed the victory which opened the door for Galena Park.  A mini-tournament was arranged to establish the rankings between Galveston Ball, Texas City and G.P.  The games were played in Alvin on Monday, April 24th. Coach Richey won a first round bye on a coin flip. The first game of the series was a rather one sided slugfest. Texas City was on fire at the plate and run ruled Galveston with a decisive flare. The TXC dugout and fans were rocking it and their offensive momentum was so tangible that even upon winning the coin toss the Texas City coach elected to play as the visiting team.  The Jackets took the field without three starters and one of their speedier designated courtesy runners. What took place over the next eight innings played out like a Disney movie for G.P.’s seemingly underdog squad. Junior, Bailey Richey got the task of confronting the confident Stinagree lineup. The first inning was stressful. A strikeout was followed by a base on balls. A throwing error allowed that run to score. Another walk was followed by a fly out to center and then a base hit. A run was scored but the Jackets stood strong throwing out the final hitter as she tried to advance to second after a throw to the plate. Senior, Breanna “Beedy” Garza firmly applied the tag on the back end of this 8-4-2-6 play. Senior, Izairiz Vazquez led off the bottom of the inning with a single but was left stranded at second base. Richey would face only six batters the next two innings, striking out four and throwing out two. Meanwhile the Jacket bats came alive. Although they were unable to score, junior Julia Vazquez’ single and junior Kassandra Vargas’ double sparked the flames in the second. The bottom of the third saw the Jackets score four times off three singles (I. Vazquez, B. Richey, & A. Colunga) and a triple from Vargas. Texas City scored again in the fourth but went three up three down in the fifth with Richey and junior second baseman Ashley Colunga earning a fielding gold star with an ESPN quality double play. Senior Brianna Mata plated Ashley Colunga for G.P.’s fifth run in the fifth inning. Neither team scored in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, with one out and two runners on base, Texas City’s number three hitter took an 0-2 out of the strike zone pitch to the right field corner and just like that, the Jackets’ lead disappeared.  Kassandra Vargas took the circle in relief and after giving up a double she calmly regrouped and induced two fly balls to end the inning. Down by one run the Jackets grabbed the bats and put the ball in play. Ashley Colunga led off the inning reaching base on a fielding error. She advanced to second on a throwing error and Julia Vazquez moved her to third while safely reaching base herself. This brought Kassandra Vargas back to the plate. She tied the game with a single. Runners would be left at second and third but the Jackets were still alive. Vargas returned to the circle and faced five batters. A single and a base on balls made things tense, but a pop fly to left field, followed by a strikeout and a fielder’s choice ended the top of the inning with the score still tied.  Texas City retired the first two Jackets’ batters in quick fashion. Ashley Colunga then came to bat. She worked a walk. She was followed by senior, Angelica Rodriguez. “Gelly” had already contributed two key catches in left field, but she made her premier high school softball memory on the second pitch of her at-bat. As Rodriguez drove the ball to the right-center fence, Colunga took off from first and flew around the bases so fast that a play at home was no real option. Ashley and Gelly were immediately mobbed by grateful teammates and the Jackets fans went crazy!  For several Jackets’ players who took the field this night, it was the game of their lives. With a playoff spot on the line they rose to the occasion and played their hearts out. Outfielders, Gelly Rodriguez, Brianna Mata, and freshman Viviana Alaniz were all in positions not frequently played but they went toe to toe with the hard hitting Texas City lineup. Ashley Colunga reached base four of five times and scored each time. But it is Kassandra Vargas who is this writer’s game MVP. She was four for four at the plate and secured the win in the circle.


Galena Park will face Austin High School on Friday, April 28th at Channelview High School for a 6:00 p.m. start.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Texas City

With softball season drawing to a close the rematch between Galena Park and Texas City was a “must win” for both teams as they jockey for a 23-5A playoff berth. As important as the varsity game was, the opening act between the JV squads was thrilling…at least for Galena Park fans! The junior varsity played to a 2-2 tie the first round and it looked like Texas City was going to gain the advantage as the Stingarees took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning with only six minutes remaining on the clock. Apparently under estimating the determination of the junior Jackets, Texas City did not employ any stalling tactics and suddenly found themselves having to play one more inning. As it turned out, one more opportunity was all our girls needed. Sophomore Brianna Castillo led off the top of the sixth with a single. Freshman Karina Garcia followed with a single of her own and gained a second base on a throwing error. Senior Aracely Gonzalez took one for the team and the bases were loaded. Sophomore Julissa Guerra’s infield single was just enough to plate Brianna and keep the bases juiced. Freshman Alexa Quiroga would become this game’s MVP with a three run triple. She scored on a well-placed slow roller from sophomore Alejandra Hernandez. G.P. plated five runs. Texas City would answer with another run but freshman Abby Chavez remained composed and stayed strong. She retired the side with three strikeouts. Coaches Vela and Houston were extremely proud of their girls and the junior varsity can be credited with getting the competitive juices flowing as the varsity took the field. Galena Park lost 3-1 to the Stingarees in their first meeting but Jacket bats were not in a lull for this one. G.P. pounded out eight runs on 12 hits. Junior Ashley Colunga led the way going three for four with a double. Senior Alexis Valdez and junior Bailey Richey also contributed doubles. Senior Breanna “Beedy” Garza, junior Julia Vazquez, Valdez, and Richey were all 2-4 for the night.  Alexis Valdez pitched six outstanding innings allowing two runs (one unearned) on four hits with six strike-outs. Bailey Richey closed it three up three down with two strike outs. Senior Christina Herrera’s play in centerfield was keenly instrumental in keeping the Stingarees at bay with runners on base. Kudos also go out to sophomore Laila Gonzalez for her second inning running catch in left. Two runs would have scored without her quick feet. The Jackets will face district power house Santa Fe next and would love to pull off an upset. The regular season will come to a close at Willowridge on April 21st. The Jacket’s district record stands at nine and five.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Manvel

The Jackets played host to the Manvel Mavericks March 31st. The junior varsity squad took the field determined that there would be no repeat of the one run loss they suffered the first time around. They pounded out 16 runs on 15 hits. The Jackets scored eight times the first inning, erasing the three run lead Manvel had established and never looked back.  Freshman Abby Chavez and the GP defense didn’t let another run cross the plate and the final score was GP 16 – Manvel  3. The Jacket’s hitting barrage included doubles by freshmen Viviana Alaniz and Alexa Quiroga and sophomore Alejandra Hernandez.

Although the varsity team defeated Manvel 12 to 5 the first time around with a season  high of 18 hits, they did not take the Mavericks for granted. District 23-5A has five teams in a dog fight for the three playoff berths remaining behind undefeated Santa Fe. Both GP and Manvel are in the hunt, sharing similar records, so this was a big game for both teams. The Jackets seemed to feel the stress from the get go. Junior Bailey Richey  issued an adrenaline pumped base on balls to the first batter. A passed ball, fielding error, mental error, and second base on balls added to the uncharacteristic quality of play during the first inning but  the Jackets still held them to a single run. Richey would regroup and go on to pitch four innings. She gave up two more runs in the third but kept GP in the game. She booked two earned runs, five strike outs, and four hits before handing the ball to senior Izairiz Vazquez for the fifth and sixth. It just wasn’t Izairiz’s day. Vazquez gave up six runs on four hits, including a two out grand slam that would seal the deal for the Mavericks.  The Manvel pitching staff redeemed themselves for the first round allowing only one hit through four (single from senior Alexis Valdez) but GP found the ball in the fifth. With one out, Izairiz punched one through. Sophomore Laila Gonzalez worked a walk and Bailey Richey drove it up the middle for a two run double. It is noteworthy that the Jackets continued to fight even after the grand slam. Junior Ashley Colunga and seniors Brianna “Beedy” Garza and Christina Herrera loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Two outs later Bailey Richey once again popped it through adding another two RBIs to her night’s work.  Alexis Valdez came in to strike out the side in one, two, three order but there would be no seventh inning rally for G.P. and the Jackets fell 9 to 4.

GP vs Marshall on April 1st
G. P. wasn’t fooling anyone in their April 1st meeting with the Marshall Buffs. Both teams made quick work of it. Freshman Alayna Cain threw the JV game for the Jackets. She gave up one unearned run and only two hits in four innings of work. Galena Park scored 15 runs on five hits, scoring the maximum allowed in each inning. Hits included freshman Karina “Ju Ju” Garcia’s in the park grand slam, Madelyn Flores hit a three run triple, and another in the park HR for freshman Chavez that scored two.

Junior Kassandra Vargas threw a no-hitter for the varsity, striking out three of the ten batters faced. Senior Izairiz Vazquez took the third pitch of the game deep and that pretty much set the stage for Marshall pitching. In addition to the homerun Vazquez also hit a double. Junior Bailey Richey was three for three with two doubles. Doubles were also hit by senior Brianna Mata, juniors Kassandra Vargas and Ashley Colunga. Seniors Alexis Valdez and Angelica Rodriguez both added triples to Galena Park’s 14 hit total. Final score was G.P. 18 – Marshall 0.


Edging past Elkins!
The Jackets took the trip to Elkins on Tuesday, April 4th to face the Knights on their turf. The JV team got the job done, registering a 15 to 5 victory. Freshman Abby Chavez pitched this one and helped herself in the effort by hitting a double. Sophmore Alejandra Hernandez contributed a triple and sophomore Valeria Villareal a double as part of the JV Jacket’s push to reach the maximum run limit allowed each inning.

On the varsity level, Elkins is another one of District 23-5A’s playoff hopefuls and have surprised opponents with some unexpected victories, so it was a “must do” game for the Jackets. Coach Richey gave senior Alexis Valdez the pitching assignment and moved freshman Viviana Alaniz up to the varsity squad to wear #9 and play some second base. This allows junior Ashley Colunga’s cannon of an arm and quick feet to become a factor in right field…a factor that was needed in this one! While Galena Park shut Elkins out in the first round, Coach Richey was keenly aware that this was not consistent with the offensive numbers the Knights have posted otherwise. This game was a thrilling (or perhaps stressful) slugfest! Here is how it played out: Valdez kept the Elkins bats at bay through four. She allowed a homerun in the third but that seemed to be no problem because of the great offensive inning G.P. produced in the second when they plated six runs. Valdez got that inning rolling with a leadoff double. Junior Kassandra Vargas worked a walk. Team homerun hitting leader junior Ashley Colunga stepped to the plate and added three runs on one swing. The Elkins pitcher hit the next batter senior Brianna “Beedy” Garza” and then walked Viviana Alaniz batting in the nine hole to bring senior slugger IIzairiz Vazquez to bat. Iriz tattooed the second pitch and three more runs were home.  The Jackets added five more in the fourth and it looked like it would be an easy win but Elkins came alive in the fifth. The bottom of the inning lead off with a strike out but then things got dicey. Before the inning was over Elkins would score four times off four hits that included a homerun and a triple. Elkins had made a statement but the 11 to 5 lead still seemed solid. Coach Richey gave junior Bailey Richey notice that she would be going to the circle next. But as coincidence would have it, Bailey was in-the-hold and had to get bat and helmet. After flying out to centerfield Richey tried to warm it up as quickly as she could but was not as ready as she needed to be to face the surging Elkins line-up. With one out she gave up three straight hits. The final blast being a homerun that plated them all. Richey responded with a strikeout and induced a weak grounder to first, but Elkins had momentum and the Jackets and their fans were definitely nervous now! Senior Izairiz Vazquez lead off the top of the seventh taking a pitch to the thigh. (Jackets don’t move.)  Sophomore Laila Gonzalez sacrificed her to second and that brought up the three hole hitter Richey. Much to the relief of everyone in black and gold, she launched it over the left field fence and added the needed insurance runs. The bottom of the inning went three up three down and ended with a strikeout. Six homeruns were split between the two teams in this game. Additional power numbers for the Jackets include a double from Richey with Alexis Valdez contributing two doubles and a triple. The Galena Park defense continues to play well. Only one error was committed in this game. The outfield kept several hard hits to singles with good reads and strong throws. Junior catcher Julia Vazquez continues to be a force behind the plate. She threw out would be base stealers at both second and third and her quick release to throw behind a runner at first initiated a gold star worthy 2-3-6-3 play that put that pickle in the barrel.


The Jackets will be looking to end their drought against Galveston Ball on Friday, April 7th. It is senior night for Galena Park and a win would be a wonderful memento! G.P. is 8 – 4 in district play and working hard to extend the season!



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Shadow Creek

The Jackets took on Shadow Creek Tuesday, March 28th in Alvin. Senior Alexis Valdez got the start for G.P. and worked very effectively for five innings giving up four hits, striking out nine. The Sharks threatened in the first but sophomore left fielder Laila Gonzalez denied them with her third outfield assist of the season. An unearned run would score in the third on the only Jacket’s error of the game. Galena Park’s offense returned to form, scoring ten runs on ten hits, including a double from junior Julia Vazquez. Senior Izairiz Vazquez recently made the move to lead off for Coach Richey. She is seeing the ball well and went three for four against Shadow Creek pitching. Junior Kassandra Vargas went to the circle to pitch the sixth. She faced four batters. The game ended with a G.P. double play turned by third baseman I. Vazquez. Kudos to Shadow Creek in this, their inaugural season as they are already showing marked improvement and promise for a good program. Galena Park will play two more this week, hosting Manvel on Friday, March 31st and Marshall on Saturday, April 1st.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Willowridge

The Lady Jackets made quick work of Willowridge in both the varsity and junior varsity contests played Friday, March 24th. Due to weather concerns the varsity played first. Junior Bailey Richey threw three innings allowing no runs and striking out six. The home team plated 20 runs on eight hits. Willowridge was in trouble from the beginning. Senior Izairiz Vazquez led off with a triple. Senior Alexis Valdez scored on an in the park homerun later the same inning and junior Ashley Colunga launched a two run blast over the centerfield fence two batters after that. Richey helped herself taking advantage of an overthrow to touch them all after hitting a triple. 15 runs were scored in the first inning of play on seven hits. Senior Angelica Rodriguez joined the fun with a grand slam in the second. As overmatched as they were, Willowridge played hard and displayed enormous character. It was Galena Park’s desire to play in the most sportsmanlike manner possible and they did not intentionally run up the score. Pitches to hit were simply thrown with runners on base. After allowing everyone to bat the Jackets gave themselves up in respect for the Willowridge player’s courage and effort.

The junior varsity team got in three full innings, scoring the maximum five runs each inning. Both freshmen Alexa Quiroga and Madelyn Flores scored on in the park homeruns. Flores also hit a double. The JV Jackets had a total of 11 hits and took advantage of multiple free passes. Freshman Alayna Cain pitched three inning to only ten batters, striking out five and allowing no runs and no hits. The defense was solid. No errors were committed.

The junior varsity team will go into the second round 3-1. The varsity team has done enough to currently be in playoff contention with a 5-3 district record, but Coach Richey is pushing for more the next go round. The Jackets are among four teams nursing post season aspirations. All four have the capability of securing the second place berth, so the second half is shaping up to be exciting and nerve racking for Jackets fans. Grab a black and gold shirt and get out to root the Yellowjackets on to victory! Shadowcreek will host the next game on Tuesday, March 28th.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Galveston

The Lady Jackets began Spring Break on Friday, March 10th in Galveston but this trip was no party. The conditions were much less than perfect. Both the JV and varsity games were played through misting rain and at times, dense fog. Both teams played well but fell short in a venue that has been historically frustrating to the Galena Park girls. The JVs took an eight to six lead into the bottom of the fourth inning but could not keep the Tors from storming back with three runs to secure victory. Freshman shortstop Viviana Alaniz claims the offensive highlights of the evening. She lead off with a triple and scored on an over throw at third to grab GP’s first run. Her second inning double brought in two. She would later steal home. Vivi got another two RBIs in the third off a single. Her evening’s work: 3 for 3 at the plate with 4 RBIs, scoring twice. The messy, wet conditions made ball handling difficult for fielders and pitchers alike. In the end Galveston made fewer errors.


The varsity team has always found Galveston a tough place to pick up a win, even when they play well. Sadly, the Galveston jinx remains intact.  Senior Izairiz Vazquez pitched this one for GP. She pitched a good game allowing just six hits, but the Tors strung three of them together in the fourth, scoring two. This would be all they would really need but an error allowed a third run in the sixth.  Galena Park’s offense managed five hits. Juniors Julia Vazquez and Bailey Richey both contributed doubles to the effort. Sophomore Laila Gonzalez’ single plated Vazquez at the top of three but Richey was left stranded at third in the fourth. The final score was Galveston Ball 3 – GP 1. A game report would not be complete without mention of Galena Park’s defense. These girls are not afraid to flash some leather. Two double plays were turned, including an outstanding effort that ended Galveston’s rally in the fourth inning. Pitcher Izairiz Vazquez, senior shortstop Breanna “Beedy” Garza, first baseman Bailey Richey, and catcher Julia Vazquez were those involved. Julia also threw out a base runner attempting to steal.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Santa Fe

Sophomore Viviana Alaniz started the JV game against Santa Fe with a bomb to left field but that proved to be the only lead GP would see. Santa Fe responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win six to three. Sophomore Julissa Guerra and freshman Madelyn Flores both hit doubles. Junior Briana Salinas’ single completed GP’s hit total for this game. Sophomore Nicole Vale earned a scorekeeper’s exclamation point for an outstanding play at third base on a line drive. The JV Jackets played hard but just could not keep Santa Fe off the bases.

The varsity team fared no better against the Indian’s strong line-up and their D-1 bound pitcher. Senior Alexis Valdez got the responsibility of starting against Santa Fe’s powerful bats and things did start off with a bang.  In spite of giving up a leadoff home run Alexis remained composed and responded by striking out the side. The top of the third brought the top of the order back around. This time Alexis struck out the number one hitter but got into trouble with the two through five batters. A grand slam increased Santa Fe’s lead to five before handing off the ball to junior Bailey Richey in the fourth. Richey was greeted with a double from the first batter. Two errors later the Indians had another run. Santa Fe was less than subtle about their run rule ambitions at this point and tried a squeeze.  Although the GP defense had faltered a bit, the Indians quickly learned they had not rolled over. Richey fielded the bunt, threw home to junior catcher Julia Vazquez who tagged the runner out, then looked for more. She came up throwing to senior centerfielder Tina Herrera who was covering second. The Indian runner at first thought she could make something happen. Wanting to either advance on fielder’s indifference or create the opportunity to get into a pickle and score the run from third, she took off.  Tina quickly checked the runner at third, judged the distances of both runners from the bases and took off after the bait dangling herself midway between first and second. The Indians found out Tina is fast! She made the tag before the run scored and Galena Park fans enjoyed the “what just happened?” moment!  Richey would give up back to back homers to the three, four hitters the next inning but the Jackets fought off the run rule. While GP pitching matched Santa Fe in the number of strike outs (six) the GP bats could not punch anything through until the top of the seventh. Sophomore Laila Gonzalez took advantage of a pitching change and broke up the no hitter by bunting her way on but she was forced out the next play. Senior Breanna “Beedy” Garza got GP’s second hit and the opportunity for an RBI but a base running mistake resulted in G.P’s first shut out of the season. The Jackets fell 8 – 0.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Texas City

The Stingarees made the trip to G.P. on Wednesday, March 15th for the first round meeting between these two teams. The JVs took the field first and played until time expired leaving this one a tie. Freshman Abby Chavez pitched a good game for GP. She gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in four innings. Unfortunately, leadoff hitters in both the third and fourth innings worked walks. They found their way home to draw even with the lead GP had established earlier. The JV Jackets tallied two runs on six hits but could not push the winning run across in the bottom of the fourth. This was a good game. Multiple junior varsity teams within this district are playing at higher levels than one might expect. It is enjoyable to watch.

Junior Kassandra Vargas got the call to start the varsity match-up. She struggled the first inning allowing two hits and hitting two batters. This resulted in Texas City’s first run. Junior Ashley Colunga stepped up to end the inning with a gold star play from right field. Upon catching a fairly deep fly ball for the second out Ashley threw a bullet to home plate with an accuracy a major leaguer would have been proud of.  Junior catcher Julia Vazquez received the throw and applied the tag to record the third out. It was a truly outstanding play. Vargas would give up a homerun in the third and a double to the first batter in the fourth. She gave up a total of five hits and two runs in three innings, keeping GP within striking distance before handing the ball to senior Izairiz Vazquez. Izairiz walked the first batter she faced. A sacrifice moved runners to second and third. Texas City then attempted a squeeze play but the Vazquez y Vazquez duo was ready. Pitcher Vazquez efficiently fielded the bunt and fed catcher Vazquez a perfect toss for the tag. The inning ended on a 1 – 3 play with no one scoring. An error allowed the lead-off batter to reach base in the seventh inning. This would eventually add an insurance run for the Stingarees. The Jackets produced six hits in their offensive effort. The fifth inning fanned the flame of hope with Izairiz Vazquez, sophomore Laila Gonzalez, and junior Bailey Richey stringing three singles together to score a run and set up a big inning. Texas City turned a double play and that was as close as GP bats would come. Final: TX City 3 – GP 1.

No doubt it was a disappointing spring break for the Yellow Jackets. They fell to 4 – 3 in district play but coaches and fans are confident of their team’s ability to rebound. GP’s offense has proven capable up and down the order and the focus will now be on rekindling some fire in the bats. The first round will be completed against Willowridge at home on Friday, March 24th.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Elkins

Galena Park’s first round effort against Elkins is in the book!


The Elkins Knights found their way to Galena Park Wednesday, March 8th. The junior varsity teams were not able to play. Heavy rain earlier in the week made field conditions less than perfect.  The varsity squads took precedence for getting their game played under the best circumstances possible. The JV teams will have to wait for the second half of districts to square off.


Elkins started the game with a 2 – 1 district record and was looking to improve but the Jackets were ready for them. Bailey Richey got the evening’s pitching assignment. She got off to a frustrating start, walking the leadoff batter after having her down in the count 0-2. Luckily, she induced the two hole to hit a ground ball to shortstop, senior Breanna “Beedy” Garza. Speedy Beedy scooped, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play. Senior Angelica Rodriguez made it three up three down with the first of two nice catches in right field.  Elkins pitcher, Madison Martinez allowed no runs on two hits through the first two innings but ran into trouble pitching to the G.P. lineup the second time around. Senior, Alexis Valdez worked a walk and sophomore Laila Gonzalez beat out an infield hit to set the table in the third for senior, Izairia Vazquez. Vazquez drilled a line drive over the centerfield fence. That ball was hit so hard it was gone in a heartbeat.  Juniors, Bailey Richey and Kassandra Vargas followed with back to back doubles plating another run. From that point forward the Jackets never looked back. Not a single G.P. batter struck out in six innings of play. The Jackets were on fire and only the outstanding Elkins outfield kept things from really getting out of hand. Galena Park’s heavy hitters were robbed of four extra base hits by the talented trio. Richey threw an excellent game, allowing no runs on two infield hits, and striking out eight in seven innings of work. She got a little revenge for the second hit by catching the next batter’s pop up and then throwing behind the runner for the second G.P. double play of the game.  Galena Park picked up their fourth district win. They travel to Galveston Ball on Friday, March 10th with an encouraging 4 – 0 district record.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Manvel

The Jackets headed to Alvin ISD to play Manvel, Friday March 3rd. The fans enjoyed two good games.

The JV team went toe to toe, playing very good softball. It was a pitcher’s duel.  Freshman Abby Chavez threw well for Galena Park.  The Jackets backed her up with timely hitting, scoring five runs on six hits.  The fourth inning showcased most of the scoring. Down by one, G.P. put four runs on the board with four hits, including junior Abby Reyes’ two-run triple. Unfortunately, nerves seemed to set in at the bottom of the inning and Manvel plated three runs to tie the game. In the top of the sixth pitcher Abby Chavez renewed hope with a two-out triple. Alas, Manvel’s pesky shortstop put an end to that inning and the Jacket’s scoring. The Mavericks’ bats found Chavez in the bottom of the inning and put this one away 6-5.

The varsity game began with Manvel taking the lead in the first inning on an unearned run, but the Jackets didn’t panic. Senior pitcher Alexis Valdez stayed strong in the circle and the offense came alive. Valdez helped herself with a one RBI triple in the second. She was three for five for the game with two RBIs. Junior Ashley Colunga touched three in the fourth, plating two. Four hole hitter, junior Bailey Richey went five for five with a one RBI double in the fifth. Junior Kassandra Vargas follows Richey in the lineup and they are becoming quite the one, two punch. Vargas was three for five with two RBIs. Senior Galilea Chavez came off the bench for a two for three evening with a run batted in.  Senior Christina Herrera was two for four, batting in two. Senior Izairiz Vazquez was also two for four. The Jacket’s hit column totaled 18! Manvel put up a bit of a fight in the sixth, scoring four times on four hits. Valdez handed the ball to Bailey Richey for the seventh having allowed five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Richey and her teammates made it three up three down and secured the 12-5 win for Galena Park.  The defensive standouts in this game go to:  second baseman Ashley Colunga and shortstop Breanna “Beedy” Garza for an outstanding play under pressure in the fourth, first baseman Bailey Richey for the error preventing stretch in the third, and to senior Christina Herrera who put on the catcher’s gear for this one and threw a bullet to shortstop Garza in the fifth to nullify the lead off batter’s attempt to get into scoring position.


Coach Richey does not deny that she was nervous coming into this game. Manvel had recently played district powerhouse Santa Fe to a one run decision. The Jackets are now 3 – 0 in district play. Next up is Elkins at home Tuesday, March 7th.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Marshall

The Galena Park varsity and junior varsity teams both are now 2 – 0 in district play. The Jackets traveled to Marshall for the February 28th meeting that resulted in two run rule decisions. Freshman Abby Chavez got the start for the JV team. She pitched two innings without giving up a run and striking out four. Freshman Alayna Cain worked the third inning, striking out the side in order and nailing down the shutout. The Marshall pitching staff struggled as the JV Jackets worked with a five run limit each inning and maxed out their possible scoring opportunities. While bases on balls was the largest factor in this offensive barrage, freshman Viviana Alaniz combined power with quick feet for an in-the-park homerun. Junior Briana Salinas and Abby Chavez completed the hit column with a single each. The final score was G.P. 15 to Marshall’s 0.

The varsity game began with the prospect of a more equitable contest. G.P. started with two quick outs. Back to back singles combined with aggressive base running pushed a run across before the side was retired. Junior Kassandra Vargas then took the ball for the Yellowjackets. She allowed two base runners in the bottom of the inning but both were left stranded. Senior shortstop Breanna “Beedy” Garza got things rolling in the top of the second inning. She led off with a drive to the right field corner that would result in her touching all four bases. A combination of hits, walks and errors would bring senior leadoff batter Alexis Valdez to the plate. She drove the ball up the middle so fast the pitcher was unable to get her glove down and took it off her shin.  The injury resulted in her inability to continue. Unfortunately, Marshall’s relief pitching was unable to find the strike zone and simply could not keep the Jackets off base.  Seven walks and six hit batsmen made it a long game. When the opportunity came to put the ball in play the Jackets capitalized. Junior Julia Vazquez hit an in-the-park homerun and Alexis Valdez, senior Izairiz Vazquez, junior Bailey Richey, and Beedy Garza were all two for two. Both Izairiz and Julia Vazquez had three RBIs and Bailey Richey had four. Pitcher Kassandra Vargas pretty much took care of defense herself. She recorded seven strike outs in three innings works. The only real fielding opportunity resulted in G.P.’s first double play of the season.


The Galena Park girls will play Manvel March 3rd at Manvel.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - Shadow Creek

Jackets leave no doubt in home opener!

Galena Park faced newcomer Shadow Creek in the season’s home opener and first district game. Shadow Creek is a first year program and while both their junior varsity and varsity teams played with heart, lack of experience showed.

The JV Jackets recorded a 15-0 victory without even needing a hit. It was a struggle for Sharks’ pitcher, M. Morales but she stayed poised in the circle and gave her best effort. Galena Park’s freshman, Abby Chavez threw two innings to seven batters, striking out five, and giving up one hit. The shutout continued with freshman Alayna Cain in the circle for the third inning. She faced three batters, recording one strike out. The JV team will be testing their skills to a greater degree as they take the field February 23rd and 25th in the Galena Park JV tournament to be played at the North Shore complexes.

The Shadow Creek varsity team is athletic and has great potential but in this contest they were simply over matched in spite of quality pitching and the ability to put the ball in play. Senior Izairiz Vazquez threw the three innings required to put this one in the books. She gave up two earned runs on three hits, striking out five. Even though Vazquez left little opportunity for her defense to work, the Jackets did flash some leather. Junior catcher Julia Vazquez made an outstanding play on a short pop up just beyond the batter’s box and senior Christina Herrera robbed the Sharks of a double with a deep running catch in centerfield. G.P.’s offense produced 12 hits on the evening. Junior Kassandra Vargas is fast becoming a very impactful Jacket in this her first year exclusively on varsity. She drilled a two run double in the first. Izairiz Vazquez did likewise in the third. Christina Herrera shortly followed, launching one deep to right center that she easily legged out into a two run triple. When the dust settled it was G.P. 17 – Shadow Creek 2.



Galena Park Softball Game Update - North Shore Varsity Tournament

The Jackets looked good in the North Shore Varsity Tournament played February 16th – 18th. It was a competitive 11 team semi-round robin event that produced two undefeated teams (Dayton and MacArthur) with GP placing second with only one loss.

The Jackets claimed their first two wins Thursday evening against Lutheran South Academy and C.E. King. Junior, Bailey Richey threw in the Lutheran South game allowing three earned runs in four innings with six strike-outs. After struggling a bit with control Richey helped herself with a two run double in the first inning. The scoreboard really got to rolling in the fourth with G.P. plating 11. Everyone in the line-up contributed at least one single to make this a 14-3 run rule decision. 

The C. E. King pitching fared no better against the hot G.P. bats. This was another short game. G.P. scored 12 runs on 12 hits, including a homerun from senior Izairiz Vazquez, a triple for junior Kassandra Vargas, and doubles for seniors Alexis Valdez and Christina Herrera.  Izairiz Vazquez pitched a three hit shutout with six strikeouts. G.P. played solid defense committing no errors in the four innings of play.

Friday’s weather allowed for only one of the two scheduled games to be played. Amid steady showers junior Kassandra Vargas managed to overcome the elements to throw two innings, allowing one run, and striking out three before the game was called for safety reasons. The Jackets got in enough at bats to plate five runs on seven hits while taking advantage of four South Houston errors. Kassandra was two for two in the effort.

Saturday’s first game was against North Shore. This game always gets the Jacket’s competitive juices flowing and senior Alexis Valdez was up for the challenge of pitching to our north side rivals. She was focused and in control throwing six innings allowing only three hits and one unearned run.  Alexis struck out six and gave up nothing but singles. North Shore scored first in the top of the fourth on an error but Coach Richey refused to allow her girls to hang their heads down. The bottom of the inning began with a strike out that was quickly followed by sophomore Laila Gonzalez being hit by a pitch. A pop up to the catcher then brought senior Izairiz Vazquez to the plate with two outs. She drove one up the middle setting the table for junior Bailey Richey. Richey pounded out a two run double. Junior Kassandra Vargas followed, plating pinch runner, senior Brianna Mata with a single. Vargas then scored off a double hit by senior Breanna “Beedy” Garza. G.P. pitching and defense allowed only one runner over the next seven batters, sealing the sixth inning with a three up three down inning. The final was G.P. 4 – N.S. 1.

Orangefield was the next opponent.  Junior Bailey Richey got the start and pitched very well (No earned runs, three hits, and six strike-outs over six innings work.) She went into the fifth having allowed no hits when a miscommunication allowed a ball to drop and things went south. Two errors later Orangefield had scored three runs and G.P. failed to respond.  The final was Orangefield 3 – G.P. 1. Shout out to G.P. catcher, junior Julia Vazquez for her excellent work behind the plate. Julia has thrown out five would be base stealers in six games played.

A perfect tournament was not achieved but the Jackets played well and exhibited confidence and spunk. They will be further tested in Tuesday’s district opener at Galena Park against Shadow Creek. The JV game will begin at 5:00, varsity at 6:30.