When Tuesday’s Keller Fossil Ridge baseball game took nearly two hours to reach the fourth inning, coach Doug Dulany told his team to relax.
“We were down just 3-1,” Dulany said. “I wanted them to just get up there and swing the bat and play aggressive.”
The Panthers rallied in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the District 5-6A game against Keller Timber Creek before finally dropping a 7-6 decision in extra innings.
The teams will close out the series with a second game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Timber Creek.
The thing we’ve done the best, though, is get some really strong starting pitching.
Keller Fossil Ridge coach Doug Dulany
Timely hitting and pitching have been the ingredients for Fossil Ridge (10-6, 2-1 5-6A). The Panthers are batting .300 and getting quality starts from pitchers Carlos Tevara and Luke Dewalt.
Tevara (2-1, 1.17 ERA) takes the mound for Fossil Ridge Thursday and is coming off a complete-game shutout last week against Justin Northwest.
“These guys are a year older, so most of them started last year,” Dulany said. “The thing we’ve done the best, though, is get some really strong starting pitching.
Mansfield baseball made it through a difficult nondistrict schedule and has recorded three consecutive victories to open District 8-6A play.
“We’ve been trying to find ourselves really,” Mansfield coach Gary Vaughan said. “During tournament play, we couldn’t figure out how to come up with timely hits and play good defense.”
In the last three games, Dillon Eatman has gone 4-for-7 with five runs scored and two RBI for Mansfield (6-7-2, 3-0 8-6A). Leadoff hitter Kyle Cullen has also found a spark, going 3-for-8, with four runs and two RBI.
Weatherford baseball opened District 4-6A play with back-to-back losses, but Spencer Hynes threw 117 pitches and struck out eight for his first win of the season to help the Kangaroos (10-6, 1-2 4-6A) get in the win column Tuesday with a 1-0 win over 2015 state semifinalist Arlington Martin.
“He did a great job of keeping the ball down and just went right at them,” Weatherford coach Jason Lee said. “I think they had just two hits that got out of the infield so that’s really saying a lot about the effort he gave.”
Hynes (1-3) has a 1.87 ERA in 26 1/3 innings and 35 strikeouts this season.
A softball playoff team the past two years, Fort Worth Paschal (15-4, 6-0 4-6A) finally defeated Arlington Martin 8-3 on March 16, something the Panthers had not done in two years.
Sophomore Maggie Hurst’s three-run double in the bottom of the sixth led to a five-run inning.
“I still get goosebumps thinking about the win for the kids,” coach Sarah Dokie-Reyes said. “These are great kids and it’s such a pleasure to be around them and to be included in their success.”
Part of their success has come from sophomore Lydia Vidales, last year’s 4-6A Newcomer of the Year. Vidales is 10-2 with a 1.92 ERA, but she has also produces at the plate. She’s tied for the team lead with three home runs and is second with 26 RBI.
“Lydia has a little place in her mind that takes her to a place of ‘wanting to be the best’ and she’s finding out that when she’s on the mound, she pushes to be the best at what she does at that moment,” Dokie-Reyes said.
Leaving a legacy
Senior catcher Reagan Wright hit two home runs for the Mansfield Legacy softball team Tuesday against Mansfield Lake Ridge to tie the school single-season record with eight that she also set during her sophomore year.
The UT Arlington signee increased her school-record to 26 for her career.
“It’s kind of a big accomplishment, I guess,” Wright said.
“She’s very intelligent and a student of the game. She always works hard and one of the toughest kids I have ever coached, mentally and physically,” coach Amie Prater said. “When she’s seeing the ball well, there’s no pitcher she can’t hit.”