Richland softball beats Keller for second straight district title

Posted Friday, Apr. 18, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Richland’s ride to the District 4-5A softball title had one more hurdle to clear Friday night.

Pitcher Haley Freyman gave up a run and scattered four hits to pick up her 20th win of the season, and Nyka Wood drove in one run and threw out two base runners as the Rebels knocked off Keller 3-1 at Keller High School.

It’s Richland’s second straight outright district championship. It was the first time Keller had come into the season finale with a chance to at least tie atop the standings.

Richland (23-7, 13-1) will face Arlington Bowie in a bi-district series next week. Keller (21-6, 11-3) will face Fort Worth Paschal in a three-game series beginning Thursday.

Both playoff sites have yet to be determined.

“I think all week we’ve been telling ourselves it’s one game at a time, but we didn’t want to split a district title and we really got focused,” Wood said. “The two that I threw out are really fast runners, so that was a great feeling.”

Aggressive base running was how Keller tried to claw back from a one-run deficit most of the game.

But Wood’s effort helped snuff out a threat in the fourth inning and in the seventh after Freyman gave up a leadoff walk.

Wood’s sacrifice fly in the third scored Shelby Watson to give Richland what turned out to be the game-winning run.

Freyman threw 83 pitches and dominated with 48 strikes. She also threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 26 batters she faced.

Skylar Castro scored in the seventh after reaching on a sharp single to give Richland an insurance run.

“We’ve been waiting on this all year, we’ve talked about believing we could do it,” Richland coach Brenda Jacobson said. “That last run made all the difference in the world, and we were relaxed after that.”

Keller got its only run in the bottom of the third when No. 9 hitter Yumiko Ozu scored while third baseman Grace Srichantra attempted to stretch a single into a double.

Srichantra got caught in a rundown, allowing Ozu to score.

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