Written by SportsDayDFW.com
The Woodlands' 7th-inning rally ousts Rockwall short of state tourney
WACO — Rockwall nearly defeated the undefeated, but The Woodlands got a walk-off single in the seventh inning for a 2-1 victory over Rockwall in Game 2 of the best-of-3 Class 5A Region II final at Baylor’s Getterman Field.
Rockwall (28-8-1) tied the score in the top of the seventh on a double by catcher Hayley Baker and RBI triple by right fielder Alyssa Henry. Ranked No. 10 nationally by maxpreps .com, The Woodlands advances to the UIL state tournament behind junior left-hander Abby Langkamp, a Baylor commit who ran her record to 25-0.
“The players need to take pride in what they’ve done with their work,” Rockwall coach Shadie Acosta said. “We played a great team and pushed them to the wall. We only graduate two seniors, and every one else is coming back.”
Rockwall advanced to a regional final for the first time in nine years under Acosta. Rockwall reached the regional semifinals three other times since 2009. Rockwall had chances against Langkamp, who got out of two bases-loaded, no-out jams with strong defensive support. In the fifth inning, a backpedaling, twisting catch by second baseman Sidney Salmans and a diving catch by left fielder Brittany Mann gave The Woodlands the final two outs with no runs.
Rockwall second baseman Jocelyn Myers hit a double off the 200-foot wall in left in the third inning, but Langkamp got out of the inning with two standout defensive plays by third baseman Kaitlyn Stavinoha. Rockwall had the bases loaded in the second inning, but The Woodlands got two force outs at home on grounders, and the 5-11 Langkamp showed her athleticism by spearing a hard-hit grounder by Baker and getting the out at first.
With seven players already committed to colleges and a freshman catcher already being recruited, The Woodlands got its game-winning hit from leadoff hitter and Tennessee commit Aubrey Leach, who was 7-for-9 in the series. The Woodlands won the 2011 5A state championship.
“The fuel for next year is that The Woodlands lost in this round last year and they came back,” Acosta said. “We have seen what it takes to get here and what you have to do in clutch situations. They grew phenomenally, and it’s exciting to think about starting to work with them for next year.”