Lady Spartans return to regional quarterfinals
SAGINAW – The last two seasons, Centennial’s softball team stumbled in the area-round of the playoffs losing series to Denton Guyer and Azle. Last Friday, the Centennial weren’t going to be denied its second regional quarterfinal appearance in the program’s history.
The Lady Spartans had their complete game on display in an 11-2 victory over Lake Dallas in a one-game Class 5A Region I area-round playoff Friday at Chisholm Trail High School.
Centennial (27-3), the No. 6 ranked team in Class 5A according to the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, has won 22 consecutive games.
The Lady Spartans will put their winning streak on line a in a best-of-three regional quarterfinal series against arch-rival Burleson (16-12) at Arlington’s Workman Softball Complex. Game 1 of the series was delayed by weather Tuesday night and rescheduled for Wednesday night.
Game 2 is slated for 4:30 p.m. Friday with a third and deciding game, if needed, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The winner of the series will take on the winner of the game between No. 5 Canyon and Canutillo in the regional semifinals.
“Like I’ve said before we have to execute the game and the game is every bit of it, bunting, slapping, hitting, hit and runs, steals,” Centennial coach Shannon Sullivan said. “If we can execute the game we can beat any opponent because when you execute those things it’s hard to defend. We played teams in the past who executed those things and they beat us. “
Trailing 2-1 Centennial scored 10 unanswered runs to put away the Lady Falcons.
The first four hitters in the Lady Spartans’ lineup did most of the damage going 11-for-16 with eight runs scored and eight RBI. They also produced three doubles and three triples.
“We worked really hard this week in practice towards one goal,” said No. 3 hitter Gracie Morton. “We wanted this so bad and we showed it on the field. We just did the best could and it turned out the way we wanted too.”
Senior Kallyn Ciesynski came off the bench and played a major role starting a rally in the third that tied the game and delivering a fourth-inning single for a 4-2 lead.
“That’s the team we have, when someone isn’t 100 percent or not playing 100 percent, we have somebody on the bench that is ready to step in at any position,” Sullivan said.
While the Lady Spartans were getting offensive, starting pitcher Peebles and reliever Hayley Murrell were calming Lake Dallas’ bat.
Peebles tossed six innings allowed two runs on four hits. She struck out eight and walked none. Murrell fanned two and walked one in one inning of work.