Kansas commit Savanna DesRochers allowed four hits and struck out eight, and the Jackrabbits used a key defensive play in the fourth inning to win the 5A state semifinal 3-0 vs. Barbers Hill on Friday at McCombs Field.
Forney (32-6) will play Richmond Foster (36-8-1) in the 5A title game, 3 p.m. Saturday.
Barbers Hill (39-7) loaded the bases when Mackenzie Collins came in to pinch hit with two outs. With the tying run at third, she ripped a 1-0 pitch to right field.
The Eagles plated a run, but Forney right fielder Hannah Holdbrook picked up the ball and threw out Collins at first base to keep the Jackrabbits in front.
“Once I saw that ball hit to me I knew it was a routine play. We practice it all the time,” said Holbrook, committed to Arkansas Monticello. “I knew I had to just field it cleanly and throw it to first.”
“When they first got the hit, I said all right they scored a run,” coach Pat Eitel added. “Then I saw Hannah come up and she made the same play last week against Hallsville. That may have broken their back. Their fans all thought they scored and we took it away from them.”
Holdbrook led the game with an 11-pitch at-bat. She went down 0-2 and fouled off five pitches before drawing a walk.
She went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Trinity Cannon’s infield single that got by the shortstop.
DesRochers led the sixth with a double to right field. Forney went up 2-0 after Vanessa Hollingsworth hit a pitch that ricocheted off the pitcher’s leg.
Caleigh Cross scored in the seventh on an RBI ground out from Tatum Stover.
Cannon, a Texas A&M commit, went 3 for 4. DesRochers finished Barbers Hill off with back-to-back strikeouts.
“I just focused on keeping the ball low and having a good spin on it,” she said. “They’re a good hitting team, but my defense had my back.”