Mansfield Sports

Lake Ridge softball team has last shot at playoffs

Lake Ridge’s softball season has come down to the final game.

But, if the Lady Eagles win Tuesday’s finale with Waxahachie, they may have one more do-or-die play-in game to determine their season’s fate.

The Lady Eagles were tied for the final playoff spot in District 15-4A with Red Oak heading into Tuesday’s final regular season games. Both teams were at 6-7 district records.

While Lake Ridge was facing Waxahachie, Red Oak was taking on Lancaster.

The game was played after the press deadline; see for the result.

Waxahachie, at 9-4, looks to be more formidable than Red Oak’s opponent, who is winless in district play.

Lake Ridge and Red Oak split the season series. So, should both teams win or both teams lose, a play-in game would likely take place on Thursday.

Cindy Manley, Lake Ridge head coach, said in Waxahachie’s first-game 9-7 win over the Lady Eagles, she came away feeling pretty good with the way the team played.

“We haven’t been playing well in the last few weeks,” Manley said. “We were hitting about .350 as a team and had only an error or two. Tuesday, we can pick it back up, playing at home, in a do-or-die situation on senior night. When we play well, we’re pretty tough, but we’re up and down.

“It’s a matter of keeping the ups longer than the downs,” she said. “We’ll see what we’re made of.”

Any momentum Lake Ridge may have coming into Tuesday’s contest after a 19-0 blanking of Lancaster is muted by the lack of work the Lady Eagles were forced to exert.

Manly said the pitcher had to face just 10 batters and she would’ve preferred a more competitive outing prior to a pivotal matchup.

With a win over Waxahachie, Lake Ridge would likely have to face its second do-or-die game later in the week against Red Oak. “You’ve got to make it through things like this anyway in the playoffs,” she noted.

Making the playoffs in just the school’s second year of varsity competition would be an achievement after struggling to excel in the first year.

The playoffs are scheduled to begin next week, with opening games on Thursday or Friday.

•  Legacy is in the playoffs at 11-2 and is the runner-up behind undefeated Ennis. The Lady Broncos close with Seguin on Tuesday.

•  Summit, at 3-8, is playing for pride on Tuesday versus Ennis.

•  Timberview is 12-1 and in the driver’s seat in 7-5A with Mansfield just behind at 11-2.

Timberview hosts Cedar Hill (4-9) while Mansfield plays at Grand Prairie (2-11). Both teams will be poised to make runs deep in the playoffs.

Mansfield is led by Bailee Baldwin, with a batting average over .570.

Timberview’s Ashlee Timmons is almost as hot at the plate with an average of almost .550. The difference in most any game is likely going to be the pitching of Mariah Denson for Timberview. She has over 180 strikeouts and an ERA of just over 1.5.