Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Softball roundup: Plano can’t be stopped, defeats Hebron 3-2
DENTON — Workhorse right-hander Kat Batey scattered six hits and slammed a two-run homer for what proved to be the winning runs as Plano slipped past Hebron, 3-2, Saturday to win their best-of-3 Class 5A Region I quarterfinal playoff series, two games to one.
Plano (35-4), the nation’s fourth-ranked team, advanced to face Weatherford in next week’s regional semifinals at a location to be determined by coin flip Monday.
Batey, who pitched all 26 innings of the three-game series, including 13 on Friday night, was not her usually sharp self, walking four and hitting a batter while striking out only four. But she was sharp when she needed to be.
Nursing a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Jill Holub’s second-inning home run, Batey found herself in a bases-loaded, one-out jam on a pair of walks sandwiched around an error. But she reached back for her first two strikeouts of the game — Chelsea Herndon looking and CeCe Constantino swinging — to end the threat.
After Batey’s two-run, fifth-inning homer made it 3-0, Hebron (29-13-1) finally broke through in the sixth. Morgan Butler, who led off the inning with a single, scored from third on a passed ball, and Herndon singled home Deja Talton before Batey fanned Constantino to end the inning.
Hebron starter Heather Stearns, who like Batey had pitched every inning of the series, was chased in the second after giving up three hits, including Holub’s home run.
She returned to pitch a scoreless seventh after Herndon provided 4 1/3 innings of effective relief.
Herndon’s downfall was the fifth, when she gave up a one-out single to Ashley McDowell ahead of Batey’s home run.
Wakeland turns on power to sweep
FRISCO — Frisco Wakeland junior Brittany Gehle isn’t usually a slugger, but she picked a great time to become one Saturday morning.
Gehle’s three-run home run in the sixth inning proved decisive as Wakeland had to hold off Wylie’s ensuing rally to win Game 2, 7-4, to complete a sweep of a Class 4A Region II quarterfinal series.
“It was huge. She’s usually not a home run kid,” said Wakeland coach Chris Southard, who said the initial plan was to squeeze home an insurance run before a fouled attempt left Gehle with a 1-2 count.
Jaime Ohm finished 3-for-4, and Darian Dunn had two hits and two RBIs for Wakeland (33-3), which is No. 14 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association national rankings. Wakeland advanced to face Forney in a best-of-3 regional semifinal series that starts Thursday at Plano West.
Wylie scored two in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to three. However, Wakeland pitcher Hannah Newcomb got a game-ending groundout to preserve the win.
“Wylie is a great hitting team,” Southard said. “Any lead is not a comfortable one.”
Wakeland led, 4-1, after one inning via Dunn’s two-run double, Newcomb’s RBI double and a run-scoring single from Monika Reichhardt.
With Wakeland’s prom scheduled for later that night, Game 2 at 10 a.m. Saturday required a quick turnaround for the teams after Friday night’s series opener at Wylie.
“We arrived home late from Wylie last night but were out hitting at 7:45 this morning,” Southard said. “We have done this in tournament play, so you get used to fast turnarounds.”
-- Rich Hilliard
Denton Ryan 8, Wolfforth Frenship 4: Ryan (30-8) scored five runs in the sixth to sweep its series in Vernon.
Celina 13, Anna 3: Taylor Norris went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and Olivia Braddock was 3-for-3 with two RBIs as Celina (30-6-3), the state’s seventh-ranked 3A team, swept a Region II quarterfinal series at McKinney Boyd .
Paris North Lamar 3, North Forney 0: Chancy Williams pitched a four-hit shutout as defending 3A state champion Paris North Lamar won Game 3 of a best-of-3 Region II quarterfinal series and advanced to play Lovejoy in the regional semifinals at McKinney.
Fort Worth Christian 2, Fort Bend Baptist 0: Dayton signee Kayla English hit a two-run home run in the first inning and pitched a two-hit shutout as FW Christian (29-8-1) won the TAPPS 4A state title in Belton. English (29-8) struck out 13, giving her 522 strikeouts for the season and 1,642 for her career. She ranks second in state history in career strikeouts.
-- Staff Reports