Looking to win the 5A state title for the second time in three years, The Colony ran into first timer Calallen and its starting pitcher Lizette Del Angel on Friday in the semifinals at McCombs Field.
The Cougars (39-3) committed four errors and Del Angel allowed one hit as the Wildcats won 5-1 to advance to the 5A state championship, 3 p.m. Saturday against Angleton.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes; one day it’s your game and the next it’s not,” The Colony coach Deana Coleman said. “But 256 teams wanted to be here and we were down to the last four so I’m very proud of that.”
Calallen’s Avianna Gonzalez drew a lead-off walk in the opening inning before advancing to third base on a ground out and wild pitch. She scored when The Colony threw an errant throw to first trying to get the final out.
Calallen (35-5) committed its own error in the bottom half of the frame.
Oklahoma commit Jayda Coleman, the No. 1 ranked 2020 player in the nation, also drew a lead-off walk. The Wildcats tried to catch her stealing second, but the throw was off the mark and rolled past the center fielder.
Coleman came around third to score and tied the game at 1.
The Wildcats added two in the third. Jasmine Pena started the inning by reaching on an error. Gonzalez singled and the pair tagged up on a deep fly to right field. Kathrine Flores singled in a run to make it 2-1. Flores was caught in a rundown between second and first and Gonzalez scored from third, beating the tag at home to make it 3-1.
“A lot of our kids got good experience today,” Coleman said. “So hopefully we can carry it over and keep it rolling.”
Del Angel (22-1) had a no-hitter going through five innings until Coleman laid down a bunt single in the bottom of the sixth. Jacee Hamlin followed with a walk to put two on and nobody out.
But Del Angel got a pop-fly to center, a strikeout and a short grounder to second to end the threat.
Flores drove a pitch in the seventh to right center for a two-run triple and Del Angel retired the side in order and registered her 10th strikeout to send the Wildcats to the final game.
The Colony senior pitcher Karlie Charles (37-2) allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out seven. She finishes her career with the program record in career wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and ERA. Charles will continue her career at Iowa State.
“She did an amazing job and I’m so proud of her and her accomplishments,” Coleman said. “She can be proud of the legacy she left. She has two medals and a lot of people go their whole lives without one.”
“We had a great season and gave it our all,” Charles added. “I’m proud of all my sisters for hanging on and fighting until the end. It’s bittersweet, but I really want to thank all the supporters the past four years pitching here; without them, I couldn’t do it.”