High School Sports

Southlake Carroll, Fort Worth Paschal carve out key baseball wins

Players in the Carroll dugout use their caps to try to distract Richland pitcher Ricky Perez.
Players in the Carroll dugout use their caps to try to distract Richland pitcher Ricky Perez. rmallison@star-telegram.com

The Southlake Carroll baseball team avoided a deep hole in District 7-6A with Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Richland.

Rice signee Matt Cantarino had 14 strikeouts in seven innings.

“We’re having a hard time scoring runs, it seems like,” Carroll coach Larry Hughes said “Matt really threw well, but he’s been doing that all season.

The Dragons (10-6, 1-2 7-6A) opened district with consecutive one-run losses to Coppell last week and have played 11 games decided by two runs or fewer.

We’ve always tried to focus on the big prize, winning state titles ... Everyone wants to win a district title, but sometimes in baseball you see teams that peak too early.

Southlake Carroll coach Larry Hughes

“We’ve always tried to focus on the big prize, winning state titles, and that’s always our big focus,” Hughes added. “Everyone wants to win a district title, but sometimes in baseball you see teams that peak too early.”

Carroll closes the Richland series on the road Friday with Kole Ramage on the mound.

Walk-off winner

Fort Worth Paschal baseball coach Darrell Preston knows the averages, and Tuesday night Ben Ayala stepped to the plate with runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“You’re supposed to bunt them over,” Preston said of the District 4-6A game against Arlington Martin. “There’s just not a scenario where you don’t bunt those runners over, and I looked up at both of my assistants and they were shaking their heads not to do it.”

It was unbelievable pitching with two great arms out there. Eric [Martin] was on and Drew [Medford] just matched him pitch for pitch.

Fort Worth Paschal coach Darrell Preston

So Preston gave Ayala the green light and the junior delivered a game-winning, walk-off double to left field as Paschal (15-2, 4-1) edged Arlington Martin 1-0 and seized control of first place in District 4-6A.

Drew Medford ended up with the four-hit shutout. Eric Walker picked up the loss despite taking a one-hitter into the seventh inning.

“It was unbelievable pitching with two great arms out there,” Preston said. “Eric was on and Drew just matched him pitch for pitch.

“For us, we want to build a program like what they have at Martin, and the thing you have to do is beat a team like that to get there.”

With 4-6A playing a round-robin schedule, Preston acknowledged that Medford and Walker could face each other again in the second half of district play next month.

Better days at Bowie

Arlington Bowie coach Tyler Lucas is in his second season, but already the Volunteers are winning big games to stay in the playoff hunt.

We’re 3-2 in district, but we face Paschal and Weatherford to close out the first round of play and nothing is easy about this.

Arlington Bowie coach Tyler Lucas

Tuesday, Bowie (9-4, 3-2) knocked Arlington out of a first-place tie in 4-6A with a gutsy pitching performance by Nick Johnson in a 1-0 win.

“Every game, every night in this district isn’t easy,” Lucas said. “We’re 3-2 in district, but we face Paschal and Weatherford to close out the first round of play and nothing is easy about this.”

Still, Bowie’s on the radar now. Johnson is 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Jacob Dominguez is batting .441 with 13 runs scored and 19 stolen bases, and Stefan Gardner has a .400 batting average with seven extra-base hits and a .523 on-base percentage.

“We’re excited about how we’re playing and to be in the thick of this thing,” Lucas said. “I think what it’s shown our kids is how much the off-season hard work paid off.”

Better Dragons

Southlake Carroll softball raced through District 7-6A last season with a perfect 12-0 record. This year, the Dragons are 4-2 but are getting back on track.

Carroll’s 4-1 defeat of Hurst L.D. Bell on Tuesday ended the first round of district with the Dragons (15-9, 4-2) closing in on the first-place Blue Raiders (12-8, 5-1).

“Let a couple get away from us early in the first round and we’ve struggled at times. I think [the Bell game] was a great game for the girls to build their confidence moving forward,” coach Tim Stuewe said. “It’s what we needed.”

Sophomore third baseman Abigail Stuart leads the team with a .484 batting average, six home runs and 31 RBIs. Senior outfielder Mckenzie Schneider has a team-high 17 extra base hits, including three home runs.

Freshman pitcher Lauren Long has posted a 9-7 record in 80  1/3 innings.

“She knew coming in that we would call on her even being a freshman. She’s grown up fast and has done a great job for us,” Stuewe said.

“It was nerve-wracking when I first started,” said Long, who has won her past three starts, “but with everyone behind me, they’ve really encouraged me and made me feel like I fit in.”

Eager Elks

Burleson softball lost back-to-back District 8-5A games to Joshua and Burleson Centennial two weeks ago, but the Elks have since won four straight and sport a 6-2 district record, 10-9 overall.

I think it motivated us, because those rivalries mean a lot to us and we want a top spot in this district.

Burleson junior Zoe Miranda, who had two RBIs in a win over Granbury

Burleson beat Granbury 10-5 on Tuesday and got two RBIs from junior third baseman Zoe Miranda.

“I think it motivated us, because those rivalries mean a lot to us and we want a top spot in this district,” Miranda said. “We knew that once we lost those two games, we had to work harder to make sure we don’t lose again. I think it fueled the fire, especially in some of the younger ones to work hard and to fight through each game whether we’re ahead or not.”

Long night

Birdville’s softball team prevailed 2-1 against Lake Dallas in an 11-inning pitchers’ duel Tuesday night.

Freshman Natalie Powell’s walk-off RBI single sent the Hawks to a 6-0 record in District 6-5A and 12-8 overall. Junior pitcher Calie Burris, the reigning 6-5A MVP, allowed two hits and struck out nine in nine innings.

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