By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
The UIL state softball tournament begins Friday night around Texas, and for the three McKinney ISD high schools, it is a chance to begin the journey to Round Rock and bring home a state championship. In the early round of the tournament, the two teams can decide on whether to play a one game or a three game series to decide the winner of the round.
McKinney Boyd will try and continue its magical season with a one-game series versus Richardson High School, while MHS and North will battle Carrollton Creekview and Frisco Wakeland, respectively, in best-of-three game series. Below are the full schedules for every team and some quick hits you need to know to get ready for the bi-district round tomorrow night.
Richardson (10-14) @ McKinney Boyd (26-5-1)
Friday @ 6:30 p.m. – McKinney Boyd H.S
It is pretty safe to assume from looking at the numbers of the Boyd pitching staff that the Lady Broncos will go as far as freshman Erin Riding takes them. With a record of 19-5 and a 1.32 ERA, Riding is undoubtedly one of the most dominant pitchers in DFW, accounting for 185 strikeouts to only 32 walks. Offensively, Boyd will need to use its speed on the base paths to put pressure on opposing pitchers, meaning that Miranda McDonald and her 38 stolen bases are going to be huge for the Lady Broncos ability to score runs. With an offense that has four players over 20 RBIs and a pitching staff led by a dominant ace, the Lady Broncos should have a very deep run in the tournament in 2012, beginning with Richardson H.S on Friday night at home.
Carrollton Creekview (19-8) vs. McKinney (18-14)
Game 1: Friday @ 7 p.m. – @ Plano West
Game 2: Saturday @ 11 a.m. – @ Plano West
Game 3 (if nec.): Following Game 2
After finishing the regular season with a four game winning streak, MHS finished in third place in District 10-4A, which meant that the Lionettes would square off with the number two seed in District 9-4A, Carrollton Creekview. If the Lionettes are going to win two games this weekend they are going to need possibly two dominant performances on the mound from Chelsea Thomas. Thomas comes into the postseason with a record of 15-14 with a 2.15 ERA, but her 147 strikeouts makes her a dangerous pitcher come playoff time. But not only will MHS need Thomas to be great on the hill, they are going to need her bat at the plate. With a team-leading 4 home runs and 32 RBIs, Thomas is going to need a strong weekend for the Lionettes to get past a very strong Creekview team. For Creekview, expect to see Alex Lewis take the mound a couple times this series. Lewis comes in with a mark of 17-6 and a 1.70 ERA, but her 271 strikeouts rank in the top ten in DFW. If the Lionettes can get to Lewis early in the ballgame, MHS might be able to upset Creekview in the bi-district round. Expect a solid three game series at Plano West this weekend.
Frisco Wakeland (26-6) vs. McKinney North (12-9-1)
Game 1: Friday @ 7 p.m. – @ Frisco Heritage
Game 2: Saturday @ 10 a.m. – @ McKinney North
Game 3 (if nec.): Monday @ 7 p.m. – TBD
With McKinney North finishing the regular season in fourth place in District 10-4A, it meant that the Lady Bulldogs would have the daunting task of facing the District 9-4A champion Frisco Wakeland in the bi-district round of the state tournament. Wakeland finished the district schedule without a loss and are considered one of the premier teams in the area, so North is going to need everything it has this weekend to complete the upset. It is going to start with pitcher Celeste Verdolivo, who leads the team with a record of 11-4 with a 1.94 ERA. At the plate, Taylor McAllister and Faith Dixon are going to need a big weekend for the Lady Bulldogs. McAllister leads the team with a .568 batting average and 5 home runs, while Dixon is tied for the team lead with McAllister with 22 RBIs. While the Lady Bulldogs are going to see a heavy dose of Wakeland pitchers Hannah Newcomb (19-3, 1.22 ERA) and Haley Hicks (7-3, 2.32 ERA), the most dangerous player on the Wakeland roster will be Darian Dunn, who finished the regular season with 5 home runs and 43 RBIs. North are heavy underdogs heading into this weekend’s series, but the Lady Bulldogs have embraced that role all season long and believe that they have what it takes to pull off the bi-district round upset.
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