Tag: Softball

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Gonzales’ breakout season halted by virus

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

With the Big Spring Lady Steers losing a number of key performers in 2020, a number of question marks existed about whether coach Chelsey Jordan’s team could find enough players to pull up the slack. 

Junior utility Jocelyn Gonzales answered many of them on her own. 

Gonzales, who entered the COVID-19 lockdown with a .500 batting average through 18 games, was well on her way to establishing herself as one of the top players in the Big Country.  

“Last year she was hitting in the sixth or seventh hole for us,” Jordan said. “But she was clearly our four-hole hitter this year. … She just steps up. She’s very clutch and if you have people on base, she’s going to score them. 

“We were just dying for someone to be a leader and we pulled her aside. She said, ‘Gotcha coach’ and ran with it.” 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: AHS star Washington left quite an impression on coach, program

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Abilene High softball coach Jim Reese considers shortstop Alyssa Washington a once-in-a-career type player. 

And with a multi-decade coaching tenure that started on the baseball diamond and included a stretch with longtime major leaguer John Lackey, that’s no faint praise.

So to watch the future Texas Longhorn see her time at Abilene High cut short in the midst of a truly remarkable senior campaign was one of the tougher things Reese has had to do as a coach. And though he’s happy that Washington will get to continue her career in Austin and certain she’ll find success at the next level, he can’t help but wonder what the standout might have accomplished had her season not been derailed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: De Leon softball may have broken new ground in 2020

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

While the De Leon softball program has developed a solid reputation in recent years as one of the Big Country’s consistent winners, the 2020 season may have represented a high-water mark. 

We’ll never know. 

In the wake of the University Interscholastic League’s COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent cancellation of all high school spring sports in the state of Texas, the Lady Cats will be left wondering what heights they may have reached this year for the rest of their lives.

With a talented corps of seniors — Micaela Miller, Kylea DeLaTorre, Coral Sparger and Brooke Stelter — and considerable early-season momentum, De Leon pushed through a difficult early season with a 9-4 overall record and a 2-0 start in District 9-2A. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Young Ballinger team was hoping for prolific 2020 season

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Photos courtesy of  Chad McDufee, Dana Travis and Don Pena

Fantastic.

That one word is how Ballinger softball coach Missy Vaughn described the Lady Cats’ 2020 season before it was prematurely ended.

Vaughn’s seniors had thrived in their leadership positions. Even after junior pitcher Daniella Luna suffered a season-ending knee injury, freshman April Pena had stepped up admirably in her place. 

Sophomore catcher Jenna Battle and her teammates were ripping the cover off the ball. Other underclassmen had emerged as Ballinger won nine of its first 13 games and was undefeated in district.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Was this the best Eastland softball team ever? We will never know

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

For four years, Eastland softball coach Tera Davis has been quietly cultivating a powerhouse.

This year was to be the culmination of her hard work, with a roster loaded with talented seniors and one of the top pitchers in the Big Country, coming off a 29-6 season that saw them reach the Region I-3A quarterfinals.

If Eastland softball was ever to go to the state tournament, 2020 in the minds of many, would have represented the best opportunity the Lady Mavericks had seen in decades. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Stamford’s Gutierrez was expected to become Big Country ace

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

At age 15, virtually ever key stat produced by Stamford sophomore pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez exhibits potential. 

While most Division I college pitchers are pegging the radar gun between 64-68 mph, Gutierrez has already topped out at 67 before her third year of high school. While many high school pitchers would be happy to strikeout 382 batters in their varsity career, Gutierrez did it in a single season — as a freshman. And while many coaches would be content to have a pitcher with an ERA under 3.00, Gutierrez charted a 1.51 last season, and was at 0.69 this year before the University Interscholastic League cancelled all spring sports last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With a career varsity record of 30-2, Gutierrez was, in the view of many, the top pitching prospect in the Big Country at the time of the shutdown. This season, if all went well, was to be the year every softball fan in the Big Country would learn exactly who she is. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: C-City, Kern had banner season interrupted

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Coming off a freshman season that saw her earn first-team All-Big Country Preps honors, Colorado City’s Mallory Kern was expected to earn a considerable amount of the area spotlight in 2020. 

And she was well on her way to doing it — helping the Lady Wolves to a 12-4 start before the COVID-19 lockdown that saw the University Interscholastic League postpone all sanctioned activities indefinitely. But Kern being unable to showcase her ability is just one of the disappointments for a burgeoning team that is now filled with them. 

That has left coach Kara Leleux in the position of trying to get her club to think positively while her players wait out the frustration with every other athlete in the state. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Jim Ned softballers, new coach felt Lady Indians were turning corner

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Aside from winning, first-year Jim Ned softball coach Erica Jones is well known for her over-the-top enthusiasm and her efforts to bring her teams into the same mindset.

Most recently, Jones, who has had successful stints at Clyde and Anson that included deep playoff runs at CHS, seemed on the verge of a breakthrough in Tuscola. That is, before the COVID-19 outbreak forced the UIL to suspend all athletic activity statewide.

She is now sitting things out with every other coach in Texas, hoping to hear that an all-clear has been given, allowing her and her players to return to work. But for Jones, who isn’t bashful about wearing her emotions on her sleeve, talking about the effect the crisis is having on her team brings her to tears.

“Once our basketball players came in, all the pieces to the puzzle were in place,” said Jones, who had guided Jim Ned program to a 10-5 mark at the time of the lockdown. “We weren’t very many games in (to the season) but we were rolling.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Four Coahoma seniors were on quest for redemption

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Coahoma’s softball team has been out for vengeance ever since last May when it lost to Henrietta in the area round for the second straight season.

Senior outfielders Caitlyn Corley, Macee Grant and Sidney Rinard plus second baseman Alex Bailey were tasked with making sure the Bulldogettes stayed hungry in 2020.

The early results had been positive as Coahoma started 15-5-1 before the coronavirus pandemic brought its season to a halt just as District 5-3A action had begun.

Now the Bulldogettes’ four seniors are forced to wait and see if they’ll be able to finish their high school careers on their own terms.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Forsan’s Smith was on the verge of breakout season

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Photos courtesy of  Jodi Mims 

Tucked away in a quiet corner of West Texas, roughly 14 miles southwest of Big Spring, an unheralded Forsan sophomore was poised to make a splash. 

At age 16, Aubrie Smith remains relatively unknown in Big Country circles. But at the time of the COVID-19 lockdown, her 2.64 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 42 innings were beginning to make a sizable blip on the area radar. 

“This year we were better,” coach Shanna Taylor said. “Our record was 12-3-1 and we were beating some bigger schools. And honestly, Aubrie was one of the top pitchers that I’ve seen this season. 

“It was looking like we were going to have a really good year, so this is extremely frustrating for us on all fronts.” 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: For Brock’s Tonips and Kizer, more than a game has been taken away

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What might have been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Kelsi Tonips missed much of last season and part of this season with a separated shoulder. Then just as the Brock senior third baseman and pitcher was working her way back into the lineup, the 2020 softball season was suspended indefinitely by the UIL because of the COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic.

The earliest athletic contests can return is May 4. The spring sports seasons may not restart at all.

“Softball is not just a game for me. It’s a big part of my life that was taken away abruptly,” said Tonips, who has played since she was 6 years old.

At least Tonips, who signed to play collegiately with Tyler Junior College, plans to play softball again. Lauren Kizer, a Brock senior pitcher and outfielder, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in public health. This was going to be her final season of competitive softball.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: Big Country Preps Top 10 Stories for 2019

It’s never easy picking the top 10 stories of the year for the Big Country Preps coverage area. 

Stretching from Forsan in the west to Brock in the east and from San Saba in the south to Munday in the north, there are literally thousands of athletes producing countless stories to choose from. 

Pairing all of that down to just 10 examples forces one to leave out several notable options on a yearly basis. The upside of all this is that the area is never short on quality stories to reflect on. 

So as we say goodbye to the year 2019, we salute those local athletes and coaches who produced yet another memorable year for the entire area. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top stories from last year, in descending order:

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for fastpitch softball — I admit it. 

A long time ago, it was common for men to play the game. My dad played it. I played it. So I still thoroughly enjoy getting to as many girls softball games as possible — just to see some fastpitch again.

So, it is with pleasure that I review the the 2019 season — the top teams, the top games, the top surprises and the clubs that are about to make a splash in 2020.

 That said, it’s time to dive in.

Continue reading “2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)”

EVAN REN: A quick look at what Brock’s Lady Eagles will face in Austin

There is no such thing as an easy draw in the state softball tournament, so when you speak about degrees of difficulty, it’s important to realize that everything is relative at this stage.

That said, the Brock Lady Eagles have an extremely difficult road in front of them in their fourth straight visit to Austin (even by state tourney standards), with third-ranked Emory Rains (33-1) in a Wednesday semifinal matchup and either top-ranked Halletsville (36-1) or No. 5 Danbury (29-5) awaiting them if they reach Thursday’s championship game.  

Rankings aside, Brock might be leading things off with the toughest team in the 3A field. And I’ll give you two good reasons for it. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Can Brock’s Lady Eagles hit their way to a state title?

If the old saying that pitching and defense win championships is true, then perhaps its premature to give too much attention to the offensive performance of the Brock softball team. 

Then again, there is another adage that for every rule, there is an exception. And with the current numbers being posted by Brock (31-6), one may be tempted to believe that offensive production alone could push the Lady Eagles all the way to the end of the state bracket. 

Skeptical? Try these stats on for size. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Wylie’s remarkable postseason run stops at a loaded Colony (w/ box score and photo gallery)

GRAFORD — The longer a playoff run continues, the higher the likelihood of running into a softball team that is “loaded.” 

 The remarkable postseason journey of the 2019 Wylie Lady Bulldogs (19-17) closed on that note, falling in a two-game regional semifinal sweep to sixth-ranked Lewisville The Colony — capped with a 12-5 loss in Game 2 on Friday at Graford. 

The loss closed the books on a Wylie campaign that saw the Lady Bulldogs push to within one round of the regional championship series in their first-ever season at the 5A level. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Ellett finishing the way she started — challenging hitters

Hard curveballs and hard riseballs — most of which are up in the zone, perilously close to a hitter’s wheelhouse.

For much of her high school career, Brownwood ace Chyanne Ellett has lived in that danger zone, matching power against power, thrown at an elevation where hitters tend to like it most. 

In short, she’s good enough to do it — with velocity in the mid-60s, good movement and a knee-buckling changeup, just to keep everyone honest. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE Gorman’s Guthery: Being 25-0 feels ‘awkward’ (photos courtesy of Jennifer Overstreet)

Caitlyn Clark has pitched through tendinitis this season.

Nick Guthery had to talk girls into playing softball when he became the Gorman coach in 2011. Nine years later, his Lady Panthers are 25-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state entering the Class 1A regional semifinals.

“I have to admit. It feels a little awkward,” Guthery said after Gorman, No. 1 in Class 1A in the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, beat No. 5 Perrin-Whitt 6-1 in Thursday’s regional quarterfinals. “We’ve been undefeated in district before, but we’ve never been this far along and not lost a game.

“We don’t see ourselves as undefeated. We just play it a game at a time and move on to the next one. Most people think I should be pumped up about being undefeated. And I am, but we don’t dwell on it because we know we can be beaten on any day.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Big Country Preps Player of the Week: Haskell’s Rodriguez goes yard four times to take award

Back in the old days, Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, home of the Atlanta Braves until the late 1990s, was commonly referred to as “The Launching Pad.”  

I submit to you that since that facility was demoed in 1997, the nickname is now free game and applicable wherever we may choose to use it. 

I choose to apply it to Hermleigh’s beautiful, but not exactly pitcher-friendly softball complex, where our Big Country Preps Player of the Week, Haskell’s Ryanna Rodriguez, put on such a dazzling hitting display. So dazzling that she even eclipsed a no-hitter for our top spot. 

Keep in mind, Rodriguez hadn’t homered all season prior to last week’s area-round series with Winters. But with a strong wind blowing to left-center at The Launching Pad, Rodriguez was transformed into Hank Aaron. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Eastland girls rebound to eliminate Peaster (w/ video, box scores; photo gallery to come late tonight)

GLEN ROSE — A day removed from an 8-3 beating at the hands of Peaster in Game 1 of a Region I-3A area-round series, the Eastland Lady Mavericks were faced with two options on Saturday: either find away to stage a remarkable turnaround or begin their offseason in early May. 

Somehow, EHS managed the former — not once, but twice in a sweep of Games 2 and 3 on Saturday at Glen Rose High School. 

Brynna Foster tossed a total of 17 innings and earned two complete-game victories to lead the Lady Mavs, who topped Peaster 2-1 in 10 innings to tie the series and 3-2 in Game 3 to end it. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Maidens take Game 1 from Winters (two videos, box score and photo gallery w/34 images included)

HERMLEIGH — With a steady, strong wind blowing out directly to center, the stage was set for offensive fireworks in Wednesday’s Class 2A area round game at Hermleigh High School’s softball field.

Haskell and Winters delivered it in a 17-7 win for the Maidens. 

Ryanna Rodriguez was 4 for 4 with three home runs and seven RBIs and Lauren Alexander was 4 for 5 with two homers, a double and three RBIs to lead Haskell (22-8-1), which can wrap up the best-of-three series with a win in Game 2 at 5 p.m. Friday in Hermleigh. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Coahoma sophomore Overton counting her blessings

Photo courtesy of John Overton

With a 10-2 record, a 2.76 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 81 innings, Coahoma sophomore Makynlee Overton may not give the appearance of someone who is lucky to be standing in the pitcher’s circle. 

The 15-year-old has been at the forefront of a Coahoma surge to the Class 3A area round, with one solid pitching performance after another. Yet she is only a few months removed from a pair of surgeries that doctors believed would force her to miss the entire 2019 season. 

Nonetheless, she will be at centerstage when the Bulldogettes (17-5) take on Henrietta (20-10-1) in Game 1 of a best-of-three series at 6 p.m. Friday at Abilene Christian University’s Wells Field. 

It has Overton, her family, her doctors and her coaches not only marveling at the teen’s determination, but at her recuperative powers as well. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: With area softball teams at the starting gate, Big Ev makes his picks

I can’t help but compare a playoff bracket to a horse race, with the bi-district round serving as the starting gate. 

There are favorites, there are possible surprises and there are longshots. And in the end, picking who has the best chance of hitting the finish line at the state tournament is part knowledge and part luck — mostly luck.

 At this track, I’m restricted to making Big Country choices — the area teams I believe have the best chance of getting to McCombs Field at the University of Texas in Austin from May 29-June 1. 

Will a Big Country team have a shot when we get to the home stretch? We shall see. 

Here’s my picks for the 2019 softball playoff run: 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Stamford’s Gutierrez a legitimate star in the making

STAMFORD — Some people know, the instant they pick up a softball and try to throw it underhand, that they can be good at it.  And those watching with a keen eye for talent recognize it at the exact same time.

In fastpitch parlance, they are what is known as a natural — someone who can perform this difficult task as though it were an afterthought. 

The Big Country is currently being introduced to one of these rarities in Stamford freshman Citlaly Gutierrez, with results that are making area coaches shake their heads in disbelief. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Wylie softball outlasts Cooper to claim District 4-5A title

The Wylie softball team exploded for nine runs over the final three innings Friday to rally past Cooper 12-6 and claim the District 4-5A championship over their new crosstown rival at Cougar Diamond.

The Lady Bulldogs trailed 4-2 after three innings and were locked in a 5-all tie through five frames, but a three-run sixth and four-run seventh turned what had been a thrilling back-and-forth affair to that point into a comfortable victory in the winner-take-all district finale.

The victory capped a seven-game district winning streak for Wylie, which wrapped up its regular season 13-14 overall and 7-1 in 4-5A play. Cooper, meanwhile, enters the playoffs at 13-16-2 after posting a 6-2 district record.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Stamford, Gutierrez, edge Haskell 2-1 to complete district sweep (box score included, photo gallery to come late tonight)

STAMFORD — Entering Thursday’s District 7-2A matchup at Stamford, Haskell coach Eric Simmons knew that his team no margin for error. 

Facing Stamford freshman sensation Citlaly Gutierrez (24-0-1) who had already struck out more than 300 hitters on the season, the Maidens had to be nearly perfect. 

They fell just short, losing 2-1 in a well-pitched, well-played game by both teams. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Eastland’s Foster maturing into quality pitcher

EASTLAND — Two years ago as a varsity greenhorn, Eastland pitcher Brynna Foster had a lot of learning to do. 

She had the raw talent to pitch. But her velocity and movement had yet to develop fully. Her changeup came on predictable counts, and as a freshman, she still lacked the poise that only maturity can bring. 

Yet she was still effective enough to help the Lady Mavericks into postseason play, despite her youthful shortcomings. 

Two years later, with improved velocity, and a rise, curve, screwball, drop and changeup that she can deliver on any count, Foster is not only dramatically better, but she’s currently one of the top pitchers in the entire Big Country. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Eastland escapes Comanche sweep (box score and photo gallery w/38 images included)

COMANCHE — For four full innings, the Comanche Maidens looked poised to piece together a season sweep of ninth-ranked Eastland on Tuesday, leading the Lady Mavericks 2-0 heading into the fifth. 

It didn’t happen. 

Plagued by a series of fielding miscues down the stretch, Comanche saw Eastland take the lead for good with three unearned runs over the fifth and sixth frames and escape CHS with a 4-2 win. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Big Spring edges Sweetwater in twice-interrupted thriller (photo gallery to come late tonight)

SWEETWATER — Through 3½ hours, two lightning delays and five jams that saw runners in scoring position, Big Spring right-hander Maddie Daniels somehow managed the outward appearance of being calm in Friday’s game at Sweetwater. 

That was for the benefit of her teammates. 

On the inside, she was anything but relaxed as she battled through a marathon 4-3 win over their District 5-4A rival. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Clyde’s commitment to excellence paying off

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” — Vincent T. Lombardi 

CLYDE — When he took over a successful softball program at Clyde three years ago, coach Reagan Sewell had to find a way to elevate something that was already quite good, without falling into the trap of fixing something that wasn’t broken.

He may have found a way, in a simple motto: Be legendary.

Simply put, Sewell wanted a motivational tool that would lead the Lady Bulldogs toward an absolute commitment to excellence and an unwillingness to settle for anything else. 

Apparently, it stuck. Because over Sewell’s three-year tenure at CHS, you would be hard-pressed to find a more successful Class 3A program in the Big Country. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Abilene High ace Washington, catcher Lopez a winning combination

Kaylen Washington’s success in the circle this season has been well documented during the Abilene High softball team’s historic run to its current 19-1-2 record.

The senior right-hander’s emergence as a true and legitimate ace has been the chief storyline in the Lady Eagles’ rise to No. 3 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association statewide softball rankings.

But while many have rightly credited Washington and her ability to consistently shut down opposing lineups, the pitcher herself shifts a surprising amount of the credit for that ability to another, less heralded player — her battery mate, Hannah Lopez.

The relationship between a pitcher and catcher is one of the most unique in all of sports, and both Washington and Lopez attribute the success they’ve shared — both individually and as part of a successful team — to the trust they’ve built the last two years.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: De Leon holds on to beat Goldthwaite

DE LEON — One inning made all the difference.  A shot in the arm for De Leon. A disaster for Goldthwaite. 

A seven-run second inning eruption pushed DHS to an important 8-6 win over the visiting Lady Eagles on Tuesday, giving De Leon (17-4, 6-1) a one-game lead over Goldthwaite (8-7, 5-2) for first place in District 9-2A.  

Micaela Miller and Coral Sparger both had two hits and two RBIs and Kylea De La Torre was 3 for 4 with a double and a triple to lead De Leon, which built and early 7-1 lead before holding on for the win. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Clyde girls solidify district lead with crucial win over C-City

CLYDE — It took the better part of six innings and some late Colorado City miscues, but the Clyde Lady Bulldogs cemented their status as the team to beat in District 5-3A with an 8-0 win on Tuesday. 

Kaitlyn Turner tossed a five-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and Peyton Lee was 2-for-4 with two runs scored to lead Clyde 16-4, 5-0, which took sole possession of first place with the win. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us