Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Keller softball ace back in form in 3-0 5A Region I semifinal win over Marcus
COLLEYVILLE — Kaylee Rogers said she was in a rut last week when she gave up eight combined runs in back-to-back wins against Midland.
But Keller’s freshman pitcher was back in form Thursday. Rogers outdueled Flower Mound Marcus ace Hannah Null in a 3-0 victory to capture Game 1 of a 5A Region I semifinal series at Colleyville Heritage.
“I was having trouble with my pitches,” Rogers said of her outings against Midland. “They weren’t moving the way I wanted them to. But now they’re moving.”
Rogers makes up what she lacks in velocity with a host of junk balls, and her crafty movement keeps batters guessing.
Marcus (29-7-1) mustered five hits against her and never put more than one runner on base in an inning.
Rogers went through the Marcus batting order four times and needed 92 pitches in her complete game. Of those 92 pitches, 67 were strikes.
“She’s doing great not just for a freshman, but for whatever age you are,” Keller coach Lindsay Strong said. “I think she moves the ball well, and she did a good job of that tonight.”
Keller (30-4-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Leadoff batter Tori Charters reached on an error and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Keller added a pair of insurance runs in the fourth. With two outs, nine-hole hitter Mallory Smith reached on a dropped third strike, scoring a run. An infield single from Charters allowed a second run to cross the plate.
Null was unlucky to come away with the loss. She struck out 12 batters in a complete-game effort and surrendered four hits. Keller hit only three balls into the outfield.
Keller will go for a sweep of Marcus at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Heritage.
“We need to come out with the same intensity,” Rogers said. “When we jump on them, they get a little rattled. As long as we keep our intensity up, keep our game up, we should pull out with a win in the second game.”
McKinney Boyd 6, The Woodlands 4: Iowa pledge Erin Riding pitched a five-hitter and struck out 12 as McKinney Boyd won Game 1 of a best-of-3 Class 5A Region II semifinal series.
McKenna Henry had an RBI double and scored on Maddy VonHagel’s single in a two-run third inning that gave Boyd a 4-3 lead. A two-out RBI double by Bailey Jo Jones in the bottom of the fifth scored VonHagel and increased Boyd’s lead to 5-3.
The Woodlands scored a run in the top of the sixth to make it 5-4, but Boyd answered with a two-out RBI double by Cassandra Heller in the bottom of the inning.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN