Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Holly Neese hits for cycle as Plano West beats Plano East to clinch share of district championship
PLANO — Holly Neese wasn’t trying to hit for the cycle when she came up for her last at-bat Friday. She would have settled for just moving a runner over.
But the Plano West shortstop lined Ashleigh Hinshaw’s 0-2 pitch into the right-center field gap and sprinted for a triple to complete the rare feat.
Neese’s cycle propelled Plano West to a 10-5 victory over Plano East, clinching a share of its first district championship since 2007.
“I didn’t know how long it took the outfielders to get to the ball,” Neese said. “But I saw [coach Mike Ledsome] jumping up and down and waving his arms, so I was chugging.”
West shares the 10-5A crown with McKinney Boyd, which earns the top playoff seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker.
Neese went 4-for-4 and came to the plate with a runner on base every time. The Abilene Christian pledge singled in a run in the first, hit a two-run home run in the third and had an RBI double in the fourth.
Her first-inning single gave West its first lead, and the home run gave it the lead for good.
“She hit every pitch,” Ledsome said. “She saw everything, and she hit every one of them. She’s a true hitter, a pure hitter. She can hit for average and power.”
West (15-11, 7-3) is headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
East (16-13, 6-4), which was a state semifinalist last season, finished third in district with the loss. It got a two-run homer from KK Stevens in the third and inside-the-park home runs from Haley Wisdom and Ashley Interrante, but still couldn’t keep up with Neese and the West offense.
“We’re just getting outhit,” Plano East coach Karen Kalhoefer said. “Ashley’s been hit all year, but previously we’ve hit pitchers back. We’re just not putting the ball in play.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN