The Keller softball team will be playing in the second round of the playoffs – somewhere – depending on the weather. For now, the plan is to play Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. at UT Arlington, with a third game at noon Saturday if necessary.
The Lady Indians took care of Plano in successive games in the best-of-three series last week. They beat the Lady Wildcats 7-1 and 8-3. Keller now moves on to play Mansfield this week.
Keller head coach Bryan Poehler was pouring over weather forecasts and available fields over the weekend, looking for an available field – preferably in a locale that wasn’t expecting rain unlike most of the Metroplex for late this week.
Poehler agreed with Mansfield head coach Jennifer Haltom to again go a best-of-three series. The Keller coach said he was looking for a place to play which would avoid being totally rained out, requiring the UIL to ask the two teams to just flip a coin in order to determine which team would advance in the playoffs. Saturday night is the deadline for the UIL to have the pairings set for the next round.
Locations aside, Keller showed it was in fine form in taking care of Plano.
“We played well, hit the ball well and came out knowing their pitcher was good and was going to have decent velocity,” Poehler said.
Kaylee Rogers was pitching well, in addition, in the Keller wins. Keller has seen Mansfield play a few times this season and knows they have good pitching depth and decent bats as well.
“They have a good, scrappy team and have a few that can hit well with some power,” Poehleer said.
Mansfield got past L.D. Bell in its first-round game, 10-7.
Should Keller get past Mansfield, the team would then take on the winner of Flower Mound and Midlothian.
Timber Creek also had its bi-district games last week, but with less than optimum results for Lady Falcons fans. Timber Creek bowed out to Lewisville in two games. The first was an 8-2 loss and the second game was much closer at 5-4.
Lewisville was the state champion just two years ago and has retained the strong nucleus to perpetuate the program.
Madie Green collected a double and a home run for the Lady Falcons in the second game. The Lady Falcons seemed to shake the first-game jitters and were hitting the ball better in game two. Timber Creek left the tying run at second base last in the game but couldn’t move her home.
Timber Creek finishes the season at 15-7 on the year after placing third in the district.
“Unfortunately, the two districts have to face each other the first round,” said Timber Creek head coach Laura Moore. District 5-6A and 6-6A square off in the bi-district rounds and it happens that seven of the area’s top 10 teams are represented by the two districts.
“You always want to improve on what you did the year before,” Moore said of last season’s fourth-place district finish.
“But we’re unsatisfied to get knocked out the first round,” she said. “We improved in the standings, but we’re not where we want to be.”
Optimism will reign at Timber Creek, though, as the Lady Falcons will lose just outfielder Hailey Joiner to graduation and should have two healthy pitchers back for the next campaign.