HEWITT – It’s never easy for a season to come to an end, especially in the first round of the playoffs. But there are plenty of reasons to be proud of what the Waxahachie Lady Indians accomplished in 2011.
Facing the state’s No. 1 Class 4A team in the bi-district playoffs Saturday afternoon south of Waco the Lady Indians fell 5-0 to Elgin in game one before being eliminated from the playoffs with a 6-0 loss in game two.
“It is always sad for the last game to end but I don’t think our girls gave up. They played hard both games. Playing the No. 1 team in state as close as we did is not bad. We got beat by the state champions last year in district twice with Midway winning it. Elgin could be the next state champion and to get beat by the state champion is not that bad of a deal,” Waxahachie head coach Steve Howell said.
Like any season the Lady Indians will lose several players to graduation but they will return a strong core of players that has next season already in sight.
“Playing a good team like this as well as we did gives us a lot of confidence for next season. With the freshmen and sophomores we had this year we were a young team, but we played great together. We all came together and clicked. We played better than a lot of people assumed we would play and proved ourselves in district and now against the top team in state,” Waxahachie starting pitcher Brooke Goad said.
Scoreless through the first two and a half innings in game one Elgin used a little luck to take the lead.
With two on and no outs the ball was bunted back to the pitching circle. Three Lady Indians converged on the ball but could not make a play on it with the pile up in front of the plate. A single by Bailey Alanis gave Elgin a 1-0 lead before Hillary Adams did the rest of the damage.
The senior catcher, who has committed to Sam Houston State University, sent a pitch down the left field line that barely stayed fair but cleared the fence by several feet to give Elgin a 5-0 lead with the grand slam.
Waxahachie freshman Ariel Ortiz led off the top of the fourth with a double but was left stranded at third as the Lady Indians’ best scoring opportunity of the game.
Elgin pitcher Sarah Johnson held Waxahachie to two hits while striking out nine in the complete game win.
The second game was another close battle with Elgin holding Waxahachie to two hits, both in the first inning, while scattering six runs in four innings.
“They hit the ball. We did, but most of ours went straight to them and then there were times we could not hit it at all. They are a good hitting team and they showed that,” Goad said.
Elgin took a 1-0 lead on a Waxahachie error in the top of the first before the Lady Indians rallied with two away in the bottom of the inning.
Goad singled to center and advanced to third on a single by sophomore short stop Summer Davila. Senior Kaitlyn O’Brien walked to load the bases for Waxahachie before a grounder to first that ended the inning.
Elgin pitcher Lauren Slatten settled in from the second inning on and retired Waxahachie in order the rest of the game while finishing with six strikeouts.
“Defensively we played pretty good both games. The big home run in the first game hurt us but in both games we just could not get the big hits to win. I don’t think our hitters were ready for the type of pitchers we saw. They both were dominating,” Howell said. “We never gave up and I am proud of the girls for that.”
In the two games combined Elgin out hit Waxahachie 16-4 while committing just one error; Waxahachie had seven.
“I think it was a good learning experience for my younger girls to see what kind of caliber ball we have to step up to next year. I expect us to be strong next year. We have a lot of young girls coming back and I think this game was a good learning experience for us,” Howell said.
Waxahachie finished the season with 16 wins and 16 losses.