Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Five-run sixth inning carries Pearce softball team past Lake Highlands, 5-4
RICHARDSON — As if Rachel Holland’s pitching role is not enough, the talented freshman launched a two-run homer to ignite a five-run sixth-inning uprising, sending Richardson Pearce to a 5-4 softball victory over Lake Highlands on Tuesday night.
Pearce (20-2, 9-2) kept alive hopes for the top playoff seed in District 9-5A with one game remaining.
“I know how much this means to my teammates, and to see the expression on their faces makes it all worthwhile,’’ Holland said. “I had faith in my teammates that we could do it.’’
Lake Highlands (14-5, 9-2) took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth and could have wrapped up the top seed with a win.
Holland, a left-hander, struck out 13 and limited Lake Highlands to five hits, one being a solo home run by Maggie Morgan in the seventh to close the gap to 5-4.
Lake Highlands managed to get the potential tying run into scoring position on the fifth Pearce error of the game before Holland finished it off.
Defensive mistakes cost both teams. Most of Lake Highlands’ miscues came in the crucial sixth. Two errors and a walk allowed Pearce to load the bases after Holland’s home run. Vivian Taylor singled to tie it, and then pinch hitter Rexi Munier was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run. Izzy Fanucci tacked on the fifth run with an RBI single.
Lake Highlands pitcher Mary Kate Brennan took a three-hit shutout into the sixth. Brennan, a sophomore, also contributed her team’s biggest hit.
Lake Highlands got a runner to third in each of the first three innings, helped by a Pearce error in each frame, but Holland ended every threat with a strikeout.
The Lady Wildcats finally cashed in the fourth when Brennan hopped a double over first base for a 2-0 lead. Kacie Jones had opened the inning with an infield single, and Abby Harris had reached on a fielder’s choice grounder.
Lake Highlands made it 3-0 in the sixth on Elizabeth Burroughs’ looping RBI double to shallow right field.