COLLEYVILLE — Lauren Mankel wasn’t going to let Hurst L.D. Bell’s perfect District 6-5A season get away.
So she blasted a three-run home run in the eighth inning Friday to give the Blue Raiders a 10-8 win over Colleyville Heritage.
Bell (25-5) completed a perfect district run at 14-0, and the 6-5A champs will likely meet Lewisville next week in a bi-district round playoff series.
“I’m looking for one pitch every time,” Mankel said. “She threw it and I just put a perfect swing on it.”
It was the exclamation point on an 11th-hour meltdown where Colleyville Heritage rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to the tie the game.
But after Heritage pitcher Fallon Dean walked Blue Raiders hitters Taylor Brown and Demi Hild, Mankel came to the plate and swatted a 1-2 inside fastball over the left-field wall.
“The thing I’m most impressed with is that they didn’t panic,” Bell coach Thomas Shives said. “They stayed with what’s worked all season, and they scratched out some base runners for Lauren.”
Heritage (14-10, 10-4) tried to spoil the party by tying things up with three runs in the seventh, none bigger than Chriona Green’s opposite-field single that brought the tying run home.
She fell into an 0-2 hole before fouling off three pitches. Green finally got the pitch she wanted with a looping shot into right that scored Hailie Henson.
Henson’s two-run double scored the first two runs of the seventh.
But Mankel and the Raiders settled in on Dean in the first extra frame. The junior third baseman was 3 for 4 and had four RBIs.
“I was telling all the freshmen that this is what the playoffs are like,” Mankel said. “This is the kind of atmosphere and the feeling you have for the entire postseason.”
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