A state tournament appearance for Timberview’s softball team came up just short after the Lady Wolves bowed out to Lubbock Coronado in the Region I finals.
Disappointment may have set in, but so does the realization the Lady Wolves just recorded one of the best seasons in the school’s history.
Timberview ended the season at 26-7, and also repeated as district champions.
The two-game sweep of Timberview by Coronado had all the early foreshadowing of a series that just wasn’t going to go in the Lady Wolves’ favor.
The first game had a rain delay of over two and a half hours in Abilene, away from home and familiar surroundings. Once the game got underway about 10:30 p.m., the Lady Wolves just couldn’t get going in a 3-1 loss.
“It threw us off, but we still had a chance,” said Timberview head coach Donya Mooney. “Of course, Coronado had the same rain delay, but we just weren’t ready to hit as I had expected.”
The second and deciding game was close until the third inning, but the wheels came off for Timberview in a 16-3 loss.
“We had two outs when all the runs scored and we just couldn’t do anything right,” Mooney said. “We had routine plays where we bobbled balls, gave up walks and nothing went right, and we realized it just wasn’t our day. We played with pride and I’m proud of how they responded and never quit and never gave up. We had a great season,” she said.
A great season, indeed, as the district champs advanced further than any previous Timberview team.
Mooney said a pivotal game for the Lady Wolves was the first win over Burleson Centennial.
“It gave us a key indication,” Mooney said of the 6-0 win. “We felt they were a solid team and from that point on, we felt we had a shot if everyone stayed healthy and everyone continued to hit.”
Another turning point, though, was a loss to Mansfield.
“It was huge for us,” Mooney recounted. “We had been on a streak and all of a sudden we realized we maybe took things for granted a little bit. We buckled down again and prepared for the playoffs.”
Much of the success of the team may be centered around the four seniors starting on varsity for their fourth year.
Maddie Munoz, Ashley Timmons, Mayan Meza Tovar and Baylea Higgs provided the kind of leadership any coach would treasure.
In addition, sophomore Mariah Denson continued to excel and advance her talent as one of the area’s top pitchers.
“The four seniors did a great job in holding everyone together,” Mooney said. “And Mariah’s performance was pretty phenomenal.”
Denson suffered an ankle injury in the semifinal round but missed only limited time.
“Not one time did she not think about playing,” Mooney added. “Once they ruled out a stress fracture, it was just a pain tolerance issue and she was ready to go.”
Denson hit nearly .500 and took care of business in circle throughout the playoffs, Mooney said, but added, “They all worked all so well together. It was a team effort through and through.”
The Lady Wolves also took pride in winning throughout the playoffs despite being the consistent underdogs.
“After the first series, we weren’t considered favorites and took that as motivation. We felt we deserved to be there and after the Richland series, we earned some respect,” Mooney said.