Written by SportsDayDFW.com
First trip to UIL state tournament ends with Ennis falling in finals to nearby Aledo
AUSTIN — Ennis fell behind early in Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game, but unlike its semifinal victory, it couldn’t complete a comeback as Aledo won its second state title with a 10-3 victory.
“They hit the ball, there’s just no doubt about it,” Ennis coach Rodney McNeill said. “With that strike zone it might have been best for us to take pitches, but that’s not our game. We’re at our best when we’re aggressive. Maybe we didn’t adjust well enough.”
Things started unraveling early for Ennis (39-6-1), which was playing in its first state championship game.
Aledo (33-4) took advantage of three walks and two doubles as it built a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The next inning, Aledo added two more runs when it strung together four consecutive singles.
“Our coach [Jeff Lemons] said he wanted to be visitors, that way we get to score first,” said Aledo’s Rhylie Makawe, who was named the game’s MVP after going 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. “It’s exactly what we did. That gave us the big start to the game.”
Aledo tacked on four more runs in the top of the third for a 10-0 lead, and McNeill was ejected for arguing a call.
Ennis thought it had recorded the third out of the inning, but the umpire ruled interference in favor of Aledo. That allowed a run to score, and McNeill got face-to-face with the first-base umpire. After the initial argument, McNeill returned to the field with more vengeance in his second argument and was ejected.
“He called obstruction on the runner going from first to second, which really upset me. Because that put him in a position where he was trying to watch a runner on his left and his right,” McNeill said. “I thought the home plate umpire was in a position to shed some light on the play, but he refused to go for any help.”
Ennis had rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat nationally ranked Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill in Friday’s semifinal, and it finally broke through in the bottom of the third Saturday.
Julia Hollingsworth singled with two outs, setting the stage for Michaela Cochran’s RBI triple. One batter latter, Cochran came home on a sharp single by Rylie Robertson.
Ennis added another run in the fourth on Sam Martinez’s RBI single.