Bishop Lynch’s Darrianne Hale anchors powerful lineup; Argyle Liberty Christian baseball looking to take next step
Bishop Lynch softball coach Amy Wheeler still marvels at how far Darrianne Hale hit one of her home runs this season.
“She cleared the field, cleared the wire fence behind it, went over the bus stop and hit the intersection of Peavy and Ferguson,” Wheeler said. “It was at least 280 [feet].”
Hale knew exactly where to find the ball later, though. The same place as the rest of the ones she’s hit for home runs in her life.
“I think I was 12 when I hit my first one,” Hale said. “My dad goes and gets every one of them. We save every one of them, and we have a case that we put them in. … I have 60 altogether.”
The sophomore pitcher has kept her father busy this season, crushing 13 home runs. Wheeler said that’s the most anyone has hit in a season at Bishop Lynch in the 14 years she’s been the coach.
In her first season at Bishop Lynch after transferring from Mesquite Poteet, Hale is hitting .529 with 42 RBIs, and she’s 17-2 with a 1.67 ERA. But she’s had plenty of help in getting Bishop Lynch (34-5) to the TAPPS state tournament, where it will play San Antonio Incarnate Word in a 5A semifinal at 2 p.m. Monday at the Waco ISD complex.
Leadoff batter Monica Cherry is hitting .438, has scored 49 runs and has 51 stolen bases. Susu Taylor, who hits third in the lineup — right in front of Hale — is hitting .363 with seven home runs and a team-leading 45 RBIs. And Madison Sowder, who hits after Hale, has 31 RBIs.
Bishop Lynch is in the state semifinals for the eighth time under Wheeler, who has a career record of 304-130-2. Bishop Lynch won state titles in 2007 and 2010, and it enters this year’s tournament coming off a 6-2 win over defending champion San Antonio Antonian.
Liberty Christian looking to take next step: The Argyle Liberty Christian baseball team is in the TAPPS state tournament for the fifth straight season. But the last three years, the Warriors (25-9) haven’t gotten a chance to play for the ultimate prize, losing in the semifinals.
Monday, Liberty will have another chance to reach the title game when it plays Plano Prestonwood (29-5) in a TAPPS 5A state semifinal in Waco. The teams are in the same district, which Liberty won.
“I think that this year we have that mind-set that we’re supposed to win it, that this is our year,” senior outfielder Carson Dowdle said. “So definitely, we’re ready to finally get over the hump.”
Liberty has won two state championships, with the most recent coming in 2009, when the school was in 4A. Dowdle, one of the 13 seniors on Liberty’s roster, is already a state champion. He won gold medals in the 100-meter dash and 4x100 relay at the state track meet Saturday and helped Liberty win the team title.
Ben Baby from the Denton Record-Chronicle contributed to this report.