UIL State Softball Tournament
Friday’s state semifinals
at McCombs Field, Austin
Barbers Hill (32-0) vs. Ennis (37-5-1), 9 a.m.
Texas State signee Randi Rupp (27-0) will pitch for Barbers Hill, the only undefeated UIL softball or baseball team in the state. The seniors for Barbers Hill went 60-0 in district play the past four years. Middle infielders Erin Houthoofd and Miranda Wiggins make up a strong 1-2 punch in the lineup. Houthoofd enters the semifinal hitting .442 on the season and Wiggins sports a .407 average. Region II champ Ennis beat Region I finalists Aledo and Azle during the season behind a strong offensive attack and strong pitching. Lions pitching allowed 17 runs in 14 district games, with eight shutouts. Outfielder Julia Hollingsworth is hitting .698 this season followed by shortstop Michaela Cochran hitting .622.
Aledo (31-4) vs. Buda Hays (31-5), noon
Aledo struck out in five of its first six plate appearances last year as Hays pitcher Sarah Leal picked up the semifinal win. Leal is back and 26-4 on the season. The counterbalance may be Aledo’s lineup, which has added a couple extra bats in 2014 and enters the semifinal rematch with a team batting average 52 points higher than last season. Still, Aspen Hayes is hitting .474 for the Rebels, followed by Mandy Shannon with a .432 average. Hays had two losses in postseason play. Shortstop Allie Arneson is hitting .538 for Aledo and pitcher Lauren Craine will try to redeem herself after giving up eight runs in last year’s meeting. Craine is 24-1 this season.
— Kevin Casas