Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Softball playoff roundup: Lovejoy sweeps Mansfield Legacy to reach state
McKINNEY — In its first season in Class 4A, Lovejoy will make its first trip to the UIL softball state tournament.
Timely hitting and clutch defense propelled Lovejoy to a 6-4 victory Saturday and a two-game sweep of Mansfield Legacy in the 4A Region II final.
Lovejoy (34-8) started varsity softball in 2008, and Amanda Douglas has served as head coach the entire time. Making it to state “feels like a long time coming,” she said. “The players’ determination, passion, hard work and heart made this possible.”
Lovejoy advanced to a regional final in 3A in 2011 but lost to eventual state champion Celina.
Lovejoy will play its state semifinal Friday at the University of Texas’ Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin. The UIL will announce the pairings for the state tournament Sunday.
After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first, Lovejoy responded with four doubles and a single in its half of the inning to take a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Lovejoy scored two more on Amanda Conner’s single. The two runners got on via a walk and a hit batter.
Legacy (31-9-1) started hot, scoring three before making an out. Reagan Wright led off the game with a triple. After Sara Scott’s walk, Brittany Walker lifted a wind-aided homer over the left-center wall.
Lovejoy senior pitcher Brittany Lewis, a Stephen F. Austin signee, did not lose hope.
“I knew the team had work to do and that we’d come through,” Lewis said.
Lewis, who averaged better than one strikeout per inning in the regular season, had none in this game.
“Our defense is amazing,” she said. “When the ball’s hit in the air or on the ground, I know it’s going to be an out.”
With Lovejoy leading 6-4 in the sixth, Legacy’s Kolbee Gray doubled with one out. Starting pitcher Ryan Wright smashed a shot up the middle. Lovejoy shortstop Sammi Curry dove to her left and snagged it. She could not make a play at first, but it held the runner at second.
Lewis got the next two outs on a fielder’s choice force at third started by Curry and a soft foul pop.
Pilot Point 10, Brock 0: Preslee Gallaway and Kalyn Salsman homered as Pilot Point swept the Class 2A Region II final with a five-inning win.
Pilot Point (38-2-1) reached the state tournament for the second time. The other time was 2005, when the Lady Cats were in 3A and lost in the semifinals.
Brock almost took the lead in the top of the first after a bloop single by Jordin Alberton. But Gallaway threw a runner out at home to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Skylar Cagle singled and Gallaway, the fourth hitter in the lineup, turned and launched a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Lady Cats a 2-0 lead. Salsman followed with a solo home run in the third inning, and the rout was on.
Gallaway went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, and Sierra Brooks was 3-for-4.
Burkburnett 3, Kennedale 0 (12): Kaylea Armstrong hit a three-run home run in the top of the 12th inning as Burkburnett won a one-game 3A Region I final.
Kylee Trahan struck out 29 and allowed only one hit for Burkburnett. She had her bid for a no-hitter end in the 11th. Allie Turner struck out 19 for Kennedale (25-11).
Wichita Falls Times Record News