Red Oak sweeps North Forney, advances

Lady Hawks will take on Hallsville in area round of 5A playoffs

Don Hullett
Daily Light correspondent
The Red Oak Lady Hawks listen as their head coach gives a victory speech to his excited team that moves on in the playoffs.


DUNCANVILLE — After Red Oak’s bottom of the seventh inning stunning comeback on Wednesday night, April 28, Game 2 of the series had all the makings of a classic grudge match. But when all the artificial dust settled on the field on this storm threatening night of softball, Red Oak blew a tight game wide open late and cruised past the Lady Falcons 17-6.

In the second inning, the Lady Hawks broke through by taking advantage of 1 of the 6 errors committed by the North Forney defense on the night. Red Oak took a 3 – 0 lead into the bottom of the second inning, and were hopeful of a shutdown inning by their defense on the field. However, North Forney had other ideas about that, as they were able to score 5 runs, to take a 5 to 3 lead into the third inning.

In the top of the third the Hawks tied the score (5 to 5) with 2 runs where they combined a single by Randerson, 2 walks, and 2 more errors to account for the scoring. The game calmed down a bit as both pitchers and defenses found their happy spot and the score would not change again until the Lady Hawks came up in the top of inning 5. Red Oak parlayed 2 singles, a walk, and a sacrifice into 2 runs and took the lead for good at 7 to 5.

The game went south in a hurry for North Forney in the top of the seventh, as the Hawks sent 13 batters to the plate. Besides another 3 errors by the Lady Falcons, the highlight of the inning was an inside the park grand slam by Senior Brianna Evans, who is Oklahoma State University bound next fall on a softball scholarship. All in all, the Lady Hawks scored 10 runs to expand their final lead to 17 to 5. North Forney was able to add one additional run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was way too little, way too late.

For the Red Oak group, the leading hitter was Brianna Evans who had a triple and the above- mentioned grand slam, as she went 2-3. Another star for the evening was Rebecca Randerson, who was 2-4 with a single and a double. Starting and winning pitcher for Red Oak was sophomore Dylan Brown.

North Forney finished the year with a 15-14 record. Red Oak (19-5) will move into the Area round to face the Hallsville Lady Bobcats (13-7-1) on a date and time to be determined soon.

Royse City 7-8, Ennis 2-3

DALLAS — Ennis had hoped that a good night’s sleep and a change of scenery would flip their luck, but unfortunately that was not in the cards, as the #3 State ranked Bulldogs prevailed, 8-3, to advance to the area round.

As the fans from both cities were still settling in, the Bulldogs wasted little time and jumped all over starting pitcher for the Lions -- Lalani. The Bulldogs plated 5 runs in the top of the first inning with a single, 3 doubles and 2 walks. Ennis was able to get a run of their own in the bottom of the first when third baseman Beakley hit a towering solo home run to right center that cleared the fence with plenty to spare, to make the score 5 to 1 going into the second.

The Lions kept scratching and clawing until they added 2 runs in the bottom of the third, courtesy of a hit by pitch, 2 singles, and a walk to get them closer at 5 to 3. Royse City made sure that Ennis did not get another sniff, as they added 2 runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 7 to 3. The Bulldogs closed out the scoring as they tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make the score 8 to 3 – and that was the final for the game.

The Lady Lions were led by Beakley who went 2 for 3 with a single and home run. Other players with hits were Rios, Beltran and Morton -- all with one hit each. Lalani started the contest and pitched a complete game as she took the loss. The Lady Bulldogs were led by Ryley Lance who went 3 for 4 with a double and triple, Madison Doherty, Aspen Holm, Kaylee Schmidt and Haley Gardella, all collected 1 hit a-piece. Royse City pitcher Brooke Johnson started and went the distance for the win.

Ennis finished with a 11-10-1 record for the season. Royse City will move into the Area round next and face the Mount Pleasant Lady Tigers (21-9) at a site and time to be determined.

Game 2: Forney 13, Midlothian 9, (8)

Two big innings in Friday’s Game 2 were costly for the Midlothian Lady Panthers, as their season ended in the Class 5A Region II bi-district playoffs with a 13-9 extra-inning loss to 5A No. 25-ranked Forney at Midlothian High School.

MHS (15-9-1) scored in each of the first four innings, including a Jessica Merk home run to lead off the second, and took a 6-1 lead into the fifth inning, but Forney let loose for five runs in the top of the fifth to pull even and then took the lead with two runs in the top of the sixth.

But in the bottom of the sixth, Midlothian’s Carsen Kitchens boosted the Lady Panthers’ hopes with a two-run game-tying double to center, scoring Briley Blackmon and Meagan Hall, and the game went to extra innings still knotted at 8-all.

The Lady Panthers were an out away from getting out of the top of the eighth, but a bases-clearing double scored three runs to give Forney the lead and the Lady Rabbits added two more runs to build a 5-run edge. MHS managed one run in the bottom of the eighth on Hannah King’s RBI groundout, but that was it.

Kylie Hoggatt batted 3-for-4, and Kitchens ended the game 2-for-5 with three RBI for the Lady Panthers. Hall was 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored.

King threw a whopping 170 pitches as she went all eight innings in the circle.

Game 3: Celina 11, Heritage 9

IRVING — The Heritage softball Jaguars clawed back into the game after spotting Celina a 7-0 lead on Saturday, but never caught up as the Lady Bobcats slugged their way to an 11-9 win in the decisive Game 3 of their Class 4A Region II bi-district playoff series at Irving High School.

Heritage (14-15-1) ended the day with 14 hits and was led by the trio of Elizabeth Schmidt, Zoe Isom and Lacey Harrison at the dish with three hits apiece.

Isom was 3-for-5 with a homer, two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored, Schmidt was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and four runs scored, and Harrison was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Kylee Murillo added two hits and an RBI.

After Celina took a 7-0 advantage after two innings, the Jags chipped away, keeping the game competitive. HHS made it a 3-run margin after four and attempted a final rally in the bottom of the seventh as Isom doubled home a run, but Isom was stranded at third and Harrison at first representing the potential tying run.

The Jags kept their season alive on Friday night in Celina on Isom’s two-run homer to center in the top of the seventh, erasing a one-run deficit and allowing them to hang on for a 13-12 victory. Isom retired the Lady Bobcats in order in the bottom of the seventh to slam the door shut.

The Jags amassed 18 hits, with Schmidt finishing 5-for-5 with a homer, a double, three RBI and four runs scored batting leadoff. Isom had a homer, two doubles and three RBI; Jo Lenzer also had three hits; and Harrison and Murillo each added two safeties.

Game 2 was a seesaw battle the entire way, with Celina jumping out to a 4-0 lead only to see HHS score eight consecutive runs. The Lady Bobcats fought back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 12-11 edge into the final frame.

Game 3: Van Alstyne 4, Ferris 0

NEVADA — Taylor Roberts threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks and also tripled and drove in a run as Van Alstyne defeated Ferris, 4-0, in Game 3 of a Class 4A Region II bi-district series at Community.

Paige Scarbro doubled and drove in two runs, Kelsie Adams doubled and scored twice, Jenna Pharr walked and scored and Sydney Sullivan drove in a run for the Lady Panthers.

McKenzie Melendez had the lone hit for Ferris (12-13).

Ferris forced the deciding contest with a 4-3 victory in Game 2 after the Lady Yellowjackets scored all their runs in the first inning and held on.

Van Alstyne (18-6), which is in the second round for the first time since 2016, will face Alvarado.

Adams and Tinsley Love hit solo home runs for Van Alstyne, Madi Thomas singled and drove in a run and Pharr singled.