Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Cinderella-story Lewisville softball team younger, may be better
LEWISVILLE — To have a chance to duplicate last year’s success, the Lewisville softball team needs to look forward, not backward. But eight months after the Class 5A state championship, the 3-2 win over Humble Kingwood is still fresh in the players’ minds.
So is what happened afterward.
The team bus, escorted by flashing police cars, pulled into the school parking lot and found an enthusiastic mob holding banners and chanting “We are Lewisville!” Members of the marching band played as the fans cheered.
“It was amazing,” senior center fielder Miranda Worthington said.
It was also past 1 a.m. That’s how much the softball title meant at Lewisville, which was the fourth seed from its district and in the playoffs for the first time in six years. A true Cinderella story.
But Lewisville was never really a Cinderella, or at least it was kind of a phony one. That’s why Lewisville is expected to contend for another state title.
“The expectations are, ‘You’ve got that young pitcher. You need to come back and repeat,’” Lewisville coach Lori Alexander said. “But that’s easier said than done.”
It certainly is. But Lewisville is loaded with young talent and returns six starters, including “that young pitcher” — sophomore Maribeth Gorsuch. She missed several weeks in 2013 with a rib-muscle injury, and Lewisville slid to fourth in tough District 5-5A.
Lewisville got on a roll after the return of Gorsuch, who was named MVP of the state championship game. Gorsuch, who was 22-4 with a 1.24 ERA last season, will also be part of a potent hitting lineup that features Worthington’s fearsome power. The senior hit .395 last season and blasted six of her 11 home runs in the playoffs.
Kacie Saucedo (left field), Jessica Nelson (right field), Gaby Vasquez (middle infield) and Megan Haggard (catcher) were starters last season. Lewisville also has three freshmen whom Alexander plans to plug in right away: Jade Fields, Kaylee Rodriguez and Makayla Corbin. All three are infielders, and Rodriguez and Corbin can pitch.
“We have a much younger team this year,” Gorsuch said, “but I think we’ll have a really good chance to go to state again.”
The team is actually more talented than a year ago, Alexander said, and it has more depth. But what made Lewisville special last year was the way its parts fit. The players’ cohesiveness showed as they battled through injuries, squeezed into the playoffs and then took off.
“We peaked at the right time,” the coach said. “If we can ever get that jell quality that we had last year, with these kids interacting, then I think we’re a better team than last year.”
Lewisville will certainly be a different team.
“Last year, we were the underdogs and nobody expected anything from us,” Haggard said. “This year we are the target.”
And for Lewisville, the target is another state title.
“New year,” Haggard and Saucedo said in unison.