By RENE TORRES
Special to the Parade
In the summer of 1941, Valley girls’ softball was attracting thousands of fans to the ball park. The girls from throughout the region were playing a good brand of softball. One of the best pitching performances of that summer came when San Benito’s Kiwanis blanked the Sebastian 10.
On the mound for the Resaca City girls was tiny 15-year-old Frances King – described as a cannonball hurler, on that day she only faced 26 batters in seven innings to throw her team into the Valley limelight. She pitched a brilliant one-hit, no-run whitewashing of a good Sebastian squad, winning 6-0.
It was Frances’ 17th victory of the season, the only team who had solved how to hit her fastball was the La Feria Bombers, who were considered best team to have roamed the diamond for several years.
King kept the girls guessing with the majority of hit balls being harmless infield grounders or pop flies, only one going to the outfield. The single base hit produced by Sebastian was when I. Wood caught the San Benito infield by surprise with a perfect bunt.
San Benito was also a good hitting team, using the hickory stick to scattered 10 hits from Sebastian’s pitching ace, Billie Keene; putting the ball in play so often caused Sebastian to commit five errors – all at the wrong time.
The leading hitters for the Kiwanis girls was catcher E. Bertram, who went two for three at the plate, and Annie Jones, who was credited with the longest smack, a solid three bagger. Also noted were Bertram’s catching skills; her throwing accuracy to second was portrayed as insurance against base thefts.
The Kiwanis squad consisted of two sets of sisters, three Bertram sisters and three Jones sisters, accounting for six in the line-up, while Sebastian had the Schultz sisters and a set of twins, the Morrow girls.
Although Sebastian was blinded by the pitching of “Tiny King,” that did not overshadow the brilliant fielding of M. Smith, Sebastian’s second baseman. Conducting a clinic at second, her work was flawless and the feature of the night; she was credited with eight assists and two put outs.