Lady Elks let playoff series slip away against Lake Ridge
Mansfield Lake Ridge’s pitcher Chloe Jones held Burleson’s bats in check most of the night Friday as Burleson fell to the Lady Eagles, 5-2, in Game 2 of the team’s playoff series.
The win gave Lake Ridge a sweep of the best-of-three Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff series.
“I thought we played a great defensive game today,” Burleson coach Summer Owen said. “They earned most of their runs. We just waited too late to start scoring runs.”
The Lady Elks put together the beginnings of a rally when Audrey Schneidmiller singled with one out. With two out, Lauren Minor doubled in courtesy runner Logan Loggins. But Minor got pickoff off at second on the relay throw to end the game.
“I thought she was safe getting back to the base,” Owen said.
Lake Ridge took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when the Lady Eagles loaded the bases with two out and Mackenzie Denson cleared the bases with a double to right field.
Burleson cut the lead to 3-1 in the second inning on an RBI-double by Brailey Wasik that scored a run. Schneidmiller opened the inning with a double. The Lady Elks couldn’t add another run.
The Lady Eagles chipped in insurance runs in the third inning on a Kate Tovar RBI-single and a run-scoring ground out by Maddie Munoz.
“This is one of the best seasons we had,” Owen said. “I knew being young would cause some problems but we still only had three losses in district. Our non-district losses were to good teams like Keller, The Colony, and The Woodlands. We stacked our non-district games with good teams. I’ll put those games in our loss column with pride. I’m fine with that. I thought we had a great season. I expect big things from this group. We are young and got a taste of it. They know what it is to let games get away and hopefully, that will fuel their want and drive.”
Errors cost Lady Elks in opener
MANSFIELD - Leading 7-2 after four innings, the Lady Elks seemed on the verge of going up 1-0 in the best-of-three Class 5A Region II bi-district softball playoff series.
Then things fell apart as Lake Ridge took advantage of eight Burleson errors in the last two innings to win the opener, 14-7, Thursday at Lake Ridge.
The Lady Elks (16-9) committed five errors in the fifth inning as the Lady Eagles (17-5) scored six runs to take an 8-6 lead. Lake Ridge, which came into the inning with one hit, had four hits in the inning.
“We knew they were a good team and a fast team and we had game prepped for them,” Owen said. “We have never played a team like them. They are a good hitting team but the problem was we gave them extra bases with errors. Then, when one error found us, another one found us and then another and it snowballed. They execute on the bases. That’s something we knew coming in but even knowing it until you feel it and see it, it’s hard.”
After Burleson stranded a pair of runners in the sixth inning, Lake Ridge put the game away scoring six more runs. This time the Lady Elks had three errors and the Lady Eagles collected four hits including Brittni Rufus’ two-run triple.
The Lady Elks started the game strong scoring four runs in the first inning. Burleson freshmen Schneidmiller and Wasik each drove in two runs. Schneidmiller’s double scored Bridgette Montes, who had singled, and Lauren Isbell, who walked.
Wasik put Burleson up 4-0 when she drove the first pitch she saw over the left-field wall for a two-run home run.
The Lady Elks added a run in the third when Natali Wheeler hit a leadoff double then scored on a one-out ground out by Schneidmiller.
Burleson went up 7-1 in the fourth inning when the bottom of the order delivered a pair of runs. Julie Farley doubled home L Minor, who had reached on an error. After Maddie McGovern walked, Farley scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
“We came out hot and ready and had a really good first four innings,” Owen said. “But then they said, ‘hold on we are pretty good too.’ And then we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Trailing 7-1, Chloe Jones relieved Lake Ridge starter Kaly Gonzales in the circle. With a runner at third, Jones struck out the first two batters she faced to get out of the inning. Jones then retired nine of the next 12 Lady Elks to register the win.