MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Mercedes softball team returns six starters from last year’s team that won a share of the District 32-5A title with Weslaco East and reached the third round of the playoffs.

“We have some positions to fill, but I think we have the keys to step righty back into where we left off,” said head coach Kristy Leal. “They want round four.”

Several sophomores stepped up to fill key roles for the Tigers in 2022, including centerfielder Mishale De La Torre.

“I know this team can reach many goals this year,” De La Torre said. “We have the potential and hunger that we didn’t have last year, we have it more this year.”

District 32-5A now has ten teams. Earning a playoff spot will be tougher as a result of more games in district play. Senior pitcher/infielder Zelinda Camacho says the team is ready to face the challenge.

“We have more chemistry than last year,” Camacho said. “We’re stronger physically and mentally. The offseason helped us get stronger and get to where we are right now.”