Hebron blanks Plano for series lead in softball quarterfinals

DENTON — Kat Hollingsworth doubled twice, scored once and drove in another run to back the two-hit pitching of Heather Stearns as Hebron beat Plano, 2-0, in the opener of their best-of-3 Class 5A Region I quarterfinal softball playoff series at UNT’s Lovelace Field.

Hollingsworth led off the second with a double, advanced to third on Morgan Butler’s bunt single and scored on a wild pitch.

She also followed Whitney Burt’s leadoff double in the sixth with an RBI double to give Stearns more cushion than she needed.

Hebron’s star right-hander, a junior already committed to Baylor, took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, facing the minimum nine batters until Kristen Miles reached first on a dropped throw.

Erin Lowell’s sacrifice buntmoved Miles to second before MacKenzie Velasquez bunted for the first hit off Stearns when catcher Jasmine Parker’s throw hit her in the back of the helmet.

Ashley McDowell tried to bunt Miles home, but Butler charged from first and threw home in time for the tag by Parker. Stearns ended the threat by getting Jill Holub on a grounder to short.

Stearns struck out six, walked one and allowed only one other hit — a leadoff single by McDowell in the seventh.

Game 2 is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

MARK BUFORD / Special Contributor

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