Grapevine’s softball program enjoyed a renaissance when it qualified for the playoffs and finished third in District 6-5A at 8-4.
However, the program’s return the postseason was short-lived. The Lady Mustangs (13-12) fell in their class 5A Region I bi-district playoff to White Settlement Brewer as they were swept 11-0 and 13-3. Cynthia Haugh delivered the offensive highlight with a home run, her fifth of the season.
In Friday’s game, Grapevine jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Lady Bears tied the game in the bottom of the first. Brewer led 4-3 after three innings before putting it away with five-run fourth and four-run fifth.
However, head coach Steve Bottoms’ program has a pretty solid nucleus returning for the 2016 season. Led by Haugh, her younger sister Abby Haugh and fellow freshmen Sydney Kaai and Baylee Stuart, Grapevine is also returning juniors Hannah Maxey and Alyssa Gonzalez. Maxey, Gonzalez, Abby Haugh and Kaai should also figure into the pitching plans. Rachil Gossett, who missed all but the last two weeks of the season with a broken leg, will also return.
While the Lady Mustangs took care of business against the Fort Worth teams in their district – Poly, Eastern Hills, Carter-Riverside and Dunbar – the goal next year is to find a way to knock off either or both Birdville and Lake Dallas.
“Our main focus was to take the next step of becoming competitive again,” Bottoms said. “I think we did a decent job of that. It wasn’t perfect. Inexperience still reared its head on occasion. It’s definitely a process, and I believe we are moving in the right direction.”
Colleyville Heritage update
Allison Conway’s program found a way to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season. The Lady Panthers (14-10) got the help they needed on April 28 when Coppell knocked off Haltom to force a tie for fourth place. On the same night, Colleyville Heritage survived the playoff play-in game against the Lady Buffaloes, 11-10.
However, the postseason appearance only lasted into the bi-district round. South Grand Prairie won the one-game playoff, 10-6, at UT-Arlington this past Friday. Madison Young and Chloe Martinez led the offensive attack with doubles. Colleyville Heritage could not climb out of an early 7-1 deficit.
While freshman third baseman Maggie Black and junior catcher Shelby Bourland will be key returners for the 2016 season, Conway will need to find new pitching answers. Rebecca Parks and Fallon Dean will have graduated.