Softball Insider: South Hills in hunt to share 7-4A title

Posted Monday, Apr. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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In Laura Woerner’s seven seasons at Fort Worth South Hills, there’s always been an anxiety that creeps into the softball team by season’s end.

South Hills has perennially been on the outside looking in for a final playoff spot or just on the inside needing a final victory to secure a spot.

“It seems like it’s always been down to the last game of the season,” Woerner said. “You can see it in the girls’ eyes, it’s stressful and it’s hard on them. They’ve wanted to accomplish so much in helping us establish and build a respected program.”

And so it goes that the 17-5 Scorpions have the attention of District 7-4A leader Aledo. The unbeaten Bearcats sent scouts to the South Hills at Arlington Heights game on Saturday, something that Woerner can’t remember happening in the two seasons that Aledo has been a district mate.

“That’s saying a lot,” she said. “The girls have talked about wanting to get to that position, to get the program as good as an Aledo or a Byron Nelson. So the fact that I can talk about the possibility of a win Tuesday over Aledo and a tie for the district title is an amazing thing.”

South Hills beat Heights 13-2 to improve to 8-1 in district.

Woerner said a 2-1 victory over Granbury earlier this season not only convinced everyone else that her team was a contender, but also built the confidence of her squad.

“The girls realized we were legit,” Woerner said. “It wasn’t just a flash in the pan kind of thing. We have a good team, ballplayers that work hard and want to get better.”

Making an immediate impact was freshman pitcher and third baseman Patricia Laredo. She’s hitting .536 with a slugging percentage of .797.

Laredo’s taken on the lion’s share of innings, tossing 79 1/3 with a 0.44 ERA and 154 strikeouts. She didn’t pitch in the 15-0 loss to Aledo earlier in the season, which is why the Bearcats are on notice.

The Scorpions had a rash of errors that led to a nine-run first for Aledo, but just three of those were earned.

Senior Denisse Grimaldo took the loss against Aledo, but is 3-1 on the season to polish off the pitching staff.

South Hills, though, has balanced the offense, too. Yvette Salas leads the team with 39 runs scored and has an on-base percentage of .531. Catcher Julia Herrera has an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.183 and 11 extra-base hits.

On the rise

Saginaw Chisholm Trail is in just its second year of varsity play, but after earning a spot in the playoffs last season, the Rangers are looking for more.

It certainly helps that the team is 21-1 and 10-1 in District 6-4A. The only loss is to first-place Birdville.

But it’s been another season of firsts for Chisholm Trail.

While school rivalries take years to develop, Saginaw and Chisholm Trail have an immediate raging one.

The Rough Riders swept Chisholm Trail last year, but after a 5-2 win in extra innings Friday night, it’s the Rangers who had the sweep of the teams this season.

“Beating Saginaw was a big deal for us,” first-year coach Calvin Wright said. “We’ve beaten Boswell once this year also and even though I wasn’t here last year, I can tell the girls have more confidence as the season goes on.”

At the plate, Victoria Quinn leads the team, hitting .525 with an OPS of 1.017 and 42 runs scored.

Wright said his lineup has been stacked all season.

“We’ve had girls move in and out of the bottom and top of the lineups,” he said. “The bottom of our order, in my mind, can match up with the top of the orders of a lot of good teams in the area.”

The team batting average is .398 with a slugging percentage of .597.

Climbing power

Fort Worth Country Day is 5-6, but is getting a strong effort at the plate from Adele Elkind.

She’s hitting .538 with an OPS of 1.469 in 43 plate appearances and 19 runs scored.

Reagan Smith is backing her up at .519 and Emily Wilkinson is hitting .483 with nine RBIs.

Offensive assault

Arlington Martin is 21-3, and has seven hitters averaging above .400.

Krista Rude leads the team with a .590 average and 39 runs scored. She also has a 1.324 OPS. Victoria Jetton is hitting .500 with a 1.367 OPS and five homers.

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