CORPUS CHRISTI – Tito Moreno of Bishop and Flour Bluff’s Aspen Auger will be honored as the 2022 high school softball coaches of the year at the upcoming South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet, presented by Whataburger.
Powered by Caller-Times All-South Texas Softball MVP Andrea Martinez, Bishop rolled to a 35-5-1 mark and the Class 3A regional finals last year. Moreno’s charges won 26 in a row before dropping both ends of a 5th-round doubleheader vs. eventual state champion Hallettsville.
The Badgers, who reached the 2021 state tournament, outscored opponents, 173-17, over their 12 district games. Bishop then began the playoffs by posting scores of 17-2, 16-0, 24-0 and 10-0.
Martinez won 32 games and posted a 1.31 ERA while hitting .491 with 22 extra-base hits and 45 RBIs. Joining her on the All-South Texas squad was fellow senior Hannah Griffith. Juniors Sadie Flores and Evelyn Valadez received 2nd-team recognition.
Moreno was assisted by Mike Silvas and Kristi Esquivel.
The Hornets marched to a 27-4-1 pace last season, reaching the Region IV-5A finals. With Auger at the helm, Flour Bluff won all 16 of its district games. The Hornets hurled five consecutive shutouts before closing out the regular season with 9-1 and 8-4 wins over Veterans Memorial and Carroll, respectively.
Flour Bluff won its first four playoff games by a combined 43-2 before being edged, 6-5, by state runner-up Georgetown.
Auger, the second-year coach who played at TAMUCC, received first-team all-district showings from senior Harley Elam and juniors Isabella Perez and Samiya Johnson. Junior pitcher Jade Moreno was the 29-5A MVP.
Taylor Akenhead and Troy Owens comprised Auger’s coaching staff.
Following a two-year pause, the 17th edition of the banquet is scheduled for Thursday, January 26 at the Omni Hotel. Reserved seats are $65 and can be purchased by calling 361-561-HOOK.
Leading the festivities is American League All-Star and Rawlings Gold Glove winner Jose Trevino. Joining the John Paul II product is Nick Loftin, a Ray HS alum who shined as a Royals prospect last season.
In addition to recognizing 59 Coastal Bend high school student-athletes, the Hooks will present Refugio native and Astros Coach Dan Firova with a lifetime achievement award.
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