Hawks advance to title game
In its first UIL state softball tournament in program history, Birdville was matched against No. 1 Frisco in the Class 5A state semifinals.
On Friday the Hawks were the better team, thanks to a six-run fifth inning, and advanced to Saturday’s 5A final with a 10-1 victory at McCombs Field at the University of Texas.
Birdville (29-10) will play at 1 p.m. against Gregory-Portland (32-3), which beat Angleton 4-1 in the first semifinal. Each team is seeking its first state title.
“That one inning was huge. Everyone made contact,” Birdville coach John Love said. “[Maddie MacGrandle] is a good pitcher and we just went to battle.”
Leading 4-1 in the fifth, the Hawks put the game out of reach by scoring five runs, highlighted by Calie Burris’ fourth home run in the past five games, a leadoff solo shot to right.
Payton Walker lined a two-run double to right center and scored on Frisco’s second error of the day. McKenna Moore’s RBI single made it 9-1.
“We just went in and focused,” Burris said. “We heard a lot of good things about [Maddie] and as a team, we just dominated — we didn’t really care.”
Frisco (31-3) jumped on top early when MacGrandle took the first pitch she saw to the center-field wall, driving in her team-leading 58th RBI of the season in the bottom of the first.
But the Raccoons’ lead didn’t last long.
After a Grace Green leadoff single in the second, Birdville pinch-runner Daniela Carrera scored on Maygan Paul’s squeeze-bunt attempt. Both runners were safe on an error. Gianna Valforte then drove a two-out double to center to give Birdville a 2-1 lead.
“We have this saying that they have to score more than one to beat us, and we showed that today,” said Valforte, who finished 4 for 4 with two doubles.
Green added an RBI double to center and Paul made it 4-1 with her single to right in the third inning.
Green (20-5), a left-handed freshman committed to Oregon, allowed nine hits and struck out six in a complete game.
“I think that’s the best game we’ve played offensively and defensively, and our offense was just incredible,” Green said.