Decatur walks off in softball regional final
BENBROOK 5, SPRING HILL 2
In its third season, Benbrook continues to re-write its history book as the Bobcats advance past the Panthers to win their 4A Region II semifinal series Saturday at Dallas Baptist University.
Freshman Hunter Rudel hit the game-winning two-run single in the top of the sixth to send Benbrook (28-5-2) to its first regional final, where it takes on Kilgore (30-7). The winner will advance to the state tournament in Austin.
“I sat on a curve, the infield was in and I just poked the ball through,” Rudel said. “We’re doing it for all the seniors. We play for them, and it’s awesome to keep this thing alive.”
Sophomore pitcher Devin Jennings scattered eight hits and struck out six batters during the complete game.
“Fastball wasn’t working during the first couple innings, so I had to change it up to my off-speed,” Jennings said. “Settled down and finally got a rhythm with my fastball and just kind of took over from there.”
“Devin has been magnificent in the playoffs, and he’s our Game 3 guy,” coach Justin Chavez added. “He’s ready every week in case we go to a Game 3, and he really took advantage today.”
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Davis Benton, who committed to NCTC on Friday, reached base on a hit by pitch, advanced to second on a ground out and scored when Landon Sawin doubled to deep left center.
The Bobcats took a 2-1 lead in the third when Travler Moore singled in Brooks Howson from second.
Spring Hill, which left 10 runners on base, tied it on a Benbrook error in the fourth before Rudel’s big hit. Howson followed Rudel in the sixth inning with an RBI single to center to make it 5-2.
“This team has a die-hard attitude, and they have no quit and keep fighting. They’re a resilient team,” Chavez said. “I loved that they stayed aggressive all day long.”
BROCK 2, BUSHLAND 0
A Jase Lopez RBI double in the first inning and an RBI single in the fourth by Cooper Nelson were all the Eagles and starting pitcher Caleb Satterfield needed to send Brock to the Game 3 win of the 3A Region I semifinals at Iowa Park.
The Eagles, who won 6-1 on Friday, advance to the regional final for the second straight season and eighth time in 14 years to play undefeated Wall.
Satterfield allowed four hits with four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Lopez, who led off the fourth a triple and scored on Nelson’s RBI, picked up the final two outs by strikeout.
BROCK 8, BUSHLAND 1
BROCK 9, BUSHLAND 3
After dropping the opening game of the 3A Region I final, 7-4, the Eagles rallied to win a doubleheader on Saturday at Iowa Park to secure their fourth straight trip the UIL state tournament in Austin.
Bushland came into Saturday averaging 15 runs per game this season, 16.2 in nine playoff games which included games of at least 20 runs four times, but Brock pitcher Kelsi Tonips held the Falcons to three hits with four strikeouts in Game 2.
Jessica Leek singled in the second inning and scored on a bunt from Maddie Murley, who then scored on an error three batters later. The Eagles (32-7) pulled away with six runs in the fifth, all with two outs.
Brock scored three times on RBI walks and Leek and Lauren Kizer added RBI singles.
The Falcons grabbed a 2-1 lead in the first inning of Game 3 before Brock took the lead for good with three runs in the third. Leek, Murley and Landry Felts scored on two Bushland errors.
Bushland threatened in the fifth when it tacked on a run with the bases loaded and one out, but Kizer, who allowed three hits in four innings, picked up a strikeout and induced a pop-fly to keep Brock in front 4-3.
Tonips hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Maddie Bramblett and Payton Gasca added RBI singles in the seventh.
DECATUR 2, ANDREWS 1
The Eagles walked off in the seventh inning of Game 2 to sweep the 4A Region I final at Abilene Christian University. They clinched a spot in the state tourney for the first time since 2002.
J.T. Smith squeezed a base hit past first base to score Rylan Chapa for the series clincher.
Andrews led 1-0 after 5 1/2 innings, but Tristyn Trull singled and scored on a sac-bunt by Payton Perkins.
Reagan Chism, who pitched a shutout in Game 1, struck out four to help Decatur (29-5) win its 15th straight game.