Aledo launched its bid for a return to the state softball tournament with a resounding first-round playoff victory on Friday at home.
The Bearcats batted around three times and used run-scoring hits from eight players in a 16-1, five-inning run-rule victory over Crowley in the Class 4A Region I bi-district game.
Rhylie Makawe provided some punch from the No. 2 spot, reaching base four times and collecting three RBIs on a double and a single.
Alli Ramsey, Allie Arneson and Megan Mason — who had three hits and three RBIs — also had run-scoring doubles.
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The support was plenty for Lauren Craine, who gave up four hits and walked two.
The Bearcats (23-4), whose season ended in a Class 4A state semifinal loss to Buda Hays a season ago, advanced to the area round to play Trophy Club Nelson, which swept Saginaw Chisholm Trail in two games, at a time and date to be determined.
“[A return to state is] what we’re looking forward to,” said Makawe, who also scored four runs. “That was a very important start for us — to jump on them quick and finish strong, and I think that’s what we did.”
The Bearcats scored twice in the first and poured it on with 14 more in the second, third and fourth innings.
Makawe scored Aledo’s first run on a wild pitch, and Arneson came across a batter later, scoring from third on Chickie Cook’s sacrifice fly to right.
In the second, Aledo sent 10 hitters to the plate and scored five times on three hits and four walks, including Ramsey’s two-run double.
Crowley (13-14) scored its lone run in the third. Kayla Ripple scored from third on Sabrina Morales’ bunt to the left side.
“Fundamentally, I think we executed well, and Lauren did a great job pitching,” Makawe said. “We’re stronger than ever now.”