Keller’s softball team took pride in always finding a way to win.
Last Saturday, they just couldn’t.
The Lady Indians’ improbable run through to the Region I finals ended after going to the third game of the series with Lewisville at Argyle.
Keller ends the season at 26-6 and as the reigning District 5-6A champs.
Keller head coach Bryan Poehler wasn’t quite ready to reflect on the stellar season over the weekend, but knew what his team had accomplished was something special.
“The first thing you start thinking is looking at what we could have done better,” he said. “In Game 1, if the ball down the line falls in, we win. If we had better communication with runners on first and second,” he continued, recounting bits and pieces of the last series in his mind. “It’s those little things that go on in your head first.”
Poehler told his players to take 24 hours to hurt and then it’s time to look at the good things of the season and the things that make them smile.
He also was already thinking about the freshmen he has coming up and how to make the pieces to the puzzle fit.
“How do I get them ready and have them more prepared for next year,” wondered the third-year coach at Keller.
And they’ll be looking ahead to the 2016 season as others will undoubtedly peg Keller as a team to beat.
The Lady Indians graduate just four seniors off this year’s squad and have plenty of players with playoff-tested talent to step up and carry them through another run next year.
But the next year’s polls won’t mean much now to Keller as they reflect on a season which they targeted to end after this weekend.
The first game with Lewisville held up to all the hype of the local area stalwart programs.
Lewisville prevailed in the initial game after 12 innings, spread over two days because of rainy weather, to take a 4-3 victory.
Keller’s very nature was exemplified in Game 2, another extra-inning game. With the end of the season all too close at hand, the Lady Indians found a way to win.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Lewisville knocked a two-run home run off Kaylee Rogers for Keller.
Keller came back in the top of the sixth with two runs of their own to tie the game.
Grace Srichantra got the first run in on an RBI hit to score Shelby Henderson.
After a pinch-hit bunt moved Srichantra to second with Kasey Simpson on third and the bases loaded and two out, Mikayla McClasky got the tying run across in what was the game’s biggest play.
Srichantra was able to outmaneuver the Lewisville third baseman to the bag without getting tagged to make the run count and keep the inning alive for Keller.
In the top of the eighth, McClasky again came through, hitting a 2-RBI double to score Rogers and Hannah Jones.
The Lady Indians would add another run to seal the game and win 5-2.
Following graduation ceremonies earlier in the day, Keller got behind in the early innings and could never recover.
The final was 10-3 and Lewisville claimed the series and a trip to Austin this weekend.