Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Underdog Lewisville, fourth in its district, knocks off Kingwood, 3-2, for 5A softball crown
AUSTIN — Lewisville finished fourth in its district and its opponent had smashed its way to 23 straight wins, so the Farmers entered the Class 5A title game as a Cinderella story.
But after a 3-2 victory over Humble Kingwood, Lewisville left with a story it had expected to tell.
“We’ve said all along that this is going to be the group that can do it,” Lewisville coach Lori Alexander said. “I believed in them all year and they believed in themselves.”
There should be no disbelief after the way Lewisville (31-13) put away Kingwood (35-4) at Red & Charline McCombs Field. The Farmers did just about everything right, and for the few mistakes they made, they had a great eraser in pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch.
Gorsuch, a freshman who only recently returned to pitching full time because of a rib muscle injury, baffled a Kingwood lineup that had been pounding the ball. Kingwood had averaged 10 runs per game in the playoffs and scored nine in a semifinal victory over defending champion Deer Park.
Against Gorsuch (22-4), Kingwood hitters struck out eight times and were shut out until the bottom of the seventh, when back-to-back singles got a rally started. Gorsuch calmly struck out the next two hitters, but after Arianna Zernial tripled to left-center to score two runs, the tying run was at third.
Gorsuch got two strikes, and then the game ended on a strange play, as Zernial raced home on a squeeze play and was caught in a rundown. Gorsuch tagged her out, and Lewisville players ran toward the pitcher from all directions.
“My emotions just burst out. I was just so proud of my team,” Gorsuch said. “We knew people probably underestimated us, but we didn’t let it bother us.”
Lewisville, which became the first Dallas-area team to win a 5A softball title since 2007, took the lead in the second inning when Becca Scott’s two-out single drove in two runs. In the fourth, Miranda Worthington smashed a home run to left off Cassie McClure (25-3), who took the loss.
Kingwood left five runners on base, but Lewisville’s defense had a lot to do with that. In the fourth, Worthington made a nice running catch in center field and Kacie Saucedo made a leaping catch near the wall that saved two runs.
“The defense was phenomenal,” Alexander said. “My left fielder and center fielder were all over the place out there.”
After the game, Lewisville fans were all over the place as they celebrated the school’s first state title since the football team won the 5A Division I title in 1996. Gorsuch, a power pitcher with astounding poise for a freshman, smiled with her MVP plaque and explained that her main strategy in the game was to “keep calm.”
“I just thought to myself, ‘Nothing big, we can do it,’” she said.
In its first playoff season in six years, Lewisville became just the second fourth seed to win a 5A softball title.
“I don’t know what to say,” Alexander said. “I’m in awe right now.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.