Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Softball roundup: Mansfield Timberview star Mariah Denson pitches gem despite injury
ARLINGTON — Mansfield Timberview had two lineups ready for Thursday’s softball playoff game against Richland — one with Mariah Denson in the lineup and one without the injured star pitcher.
The Oklahoma State pledge suffered a foot injury last Friday, and she had been in a walking boot up until Thursday. But after being unable to pitch Saturday as Timberview eliminated defending Class 5A state champion Lewisville, Denson warmed up Thursday, and a few minutes before pregame player introductions, Timberview revealed that Denson would pitch.
Despite having her left foot and ankle heavily wrapped, the sophomore right-hander pitched a gem. Denson threw a five-hitter and was 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead Timberview to an 8-2 win over Richland, the state’s third-ranked 5A team, in Game 1 of a best-of-3 5A Region I semifinal series.
“Our trainers have done a great job all week in managing everything with her and trying to get her ready,” Timberview coach Donya Mooney said. “We weren’t going to jeopardize her health, but she wanted to play. She’s a tough kid.”
After the first inning, Denson (24-3) allowed only two infield singles, a solo home run and one walk.
Richland (27-9) scored a run on two hits in the top of the first, but 10th-ranked Timberview (28-6) scored five runs in the bottom of the second against all-state pitcher Haley Freyman (26-7).
With the bases loaded and no outs, Richland couldn’t get an out on a squeeze bunt by Nala Stokes that tied the score. Then Chelsea Luddeke and Baylea Higgs hit RBI singles, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Denson capped the inning with an RBI single to give Timberview a 5-1 lead.
Denson retired nine in a row before Shelby Watson ended that streak by blasting a home run over the wall in center field with one out in the top of the fifth to bring Richland within 5-2. Timberview answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Alex Taylor and two-run single by Gabby Littles.
Kingwood 1, Rockwall 0: Georgie Gonzales connected for a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Kingwood (25-8) a victory against Rockwall (26-6-1) in Game 1 of the 5A Region II semifinal series.
Kingwood almost took a lead in the bottom of the first after a triple by Krista Frontino. Frontino tried to come home on a squeeze play but couldn’t get under Hayley Baker’s tag after a throw from first baseman Bailey Wallace.
Second baseman Jocelyn Myers made another big play for Rockwall in the sixth inning when Kingwood had a runner on second and one out. The junior made a diving catch and flipped the ball to Dani Greenlee to complete a double play.
Greenlee had Rockwall’s only two hits against Kingwood pitcher Ashley Johnson. Rockwall pitcher Emily Cowan allowed eight hits.
The Woodlands 8, Plano West 3: Nationally ranked The Woodlands scored eight runs in the first three innings to win Game 1 of a best-of-3 5A Region II semifinal series.
Baylor pledge Abby Langkamp pitched a six-hitter for The Woodlands (35-3). Sierra Lange was 2-for-4 with three runs for Plano West.
Hallsville 6, North Forney 0: Hallsville scored all six runs in the final two innings, and Cassidy Ferrill threw a shutout in Game 1 of a 4A Region II semifinal series.