Former Hawk earns MVP, leads team to NAIA softball world series

Local Sports

VICTORIA, Texas (KVEO) — The University of Houston-Victoria softball team are making history as they fight through their comeback season.

“It’s been a crazy ride I’ll tell ya that, but what better way to go out?” asked Jaguars Senior Ashley Reyna.

Reyna graduated from Harlingen South in 2017, where she played 1st base for the Hawks. Now, a senior at UHV, she plays 1st baseman for the Jaguars.

In her senior season, she’s been named to the RRAC Softball All-Conference Team as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and played a huge role in her team’s championship at the RRAC softball tournament, earning MVP for her performance.

“We were under looked a lot during the season and we saw that, our coach even told us like ‘we have nothing to lose at this point so it depends how we’re going to come out of it and what we are made of at that point.'”

The Jaguars have worn the underdog title through their postseason run, but are beginning to prove that they can be top dogs.

“During the whole season, we were never able to find it. You’d get little clips of it like ‘ok we had a really good inning let’s keep it going’ and then somehow we’d lose it and then when it came to conference tournament going into conference tournament, we were finding it and we were grooving with it.”

The Jaguars beat TAMU-Texarkana 4-2 to become 2021 Red River Athletic Conference Champions and punch their ticket to the NAIA national tournament.

“We started off with a one-game win and then we came from the elimination bracket because we lost the second game of the tournament, and then we were just flying high since then. In that conference tournament, you could tell we were underlooked a lot, they were like ‘they’re fifth seed we’re not gonna put our starters they were struggling during the regular season,’ and our coach is like ‘they’re looking down on you and they don’t know what you guys are capable of they don’t see what we see in practice every day’.”

Now, the Jaguars are headed to compete for an NAIA World Series title for the first time in program history.

“I think that’s what motivated us the most like man they don’t even know and then finding it and proving them wrong was just like a very big plus for us.”

Once again, the Jaguars will enter their third postseason series as an underdog, at the number 10 seed.

“I’d rather have what we have now and make it to the world series than just to be ranked and not be going to the world series. I think that’s the most rewarding thing like we’re here, we’re making history, and we’re just so proud of it.”

Reyna is joined on the Jaguars team by former Edinburg North Cougar Jackie Longoria. The two RGV natives will represent on the national stage on Thursday, May 27th at 9 a.m. against number 7 seed Mount Mercy.

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