By Colin Bado, TSB Sports Writer
With a sincere smile, McKinney Boyd softball coach Moe Fritz simply stated, “She is just dominating.”
She is Lady Broncos’ sophomore pitcher Erin Riding, who personified the definition of excellence by throwing a perfect game in a 10-0 win over W.T. White, as Boyd took the first game of the three-game Bi-district round series.
After fighting through a variety of injuries throughout the season, the Lady Broncos are peaking at the right time. Behind the arm of Riding, and with a solid defense behind her, Boyd is ready to make a run at the state title.
“We’re doing a great job defensively,” said Fritz. “Erin was in the zone tonight. She is focused and continues to grow extremely well.
While Riding still has two years left of school following this season, she has committed to play college softball at the University of Iowa. But in the midst of all her success this year, she continues to stay humble and pay tribute to her team.
“My team is amazing, and I appreciate how they back me up,” said Riding. “Maddy (VonHogel) did a great job behind the plate, and coach called great pitches.”
Fifteen Longhorns entered the batter’s box and 15 failed to reach base, 13 came by way of the strikeout. Despite throwing a perfect game, Riding still feels there are areas to improve as the playoffs continue.
“I can do a better job of getting ahead in the count,” said Riding. “I’d like to get more spin on my pitches.”
With an earned run average hovering around one, Riding has accumulated 294 strikeouts in 26 games, becoming one of the most dominant and feared pitchers in the Metroplex.
“I just go and do my best,” said Riding. “Tonight my screwball and curve ball were on.”
Without a doubt, Riding’s confidence resounds throughout the Boyd dugout. The Lady Broncos run-ruled W.T. White in the 5th inning with two outs remaining. Longorns’ pitcher Hailey Teguns had her work cut out for her, and with little help behind her, the Lady Broncos’ offense took advantage.
Third baseman McKenna Henry set the pace early with a two run double in the first. Boyd’s designated hitter Jade Watkins did her part at the plate with three doubles of her own, the last of which bounced off the left field wall and brought in the final run.
A slew of extra base hits, capped off by a Cassandra Heller triple, rallied five runs for the Lady Broncos in the fourth inning. After scoring three runs in the first and five runs in the fourth, Fritz expressed her contentment.
“I’m really happy with the first and fourth innings, but offensively we could do better,” said Fritz. “We want to put the ball in play, and work on getting base hits.”
Boyd and W.T. White will play game two of the series Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. The game will be played at W.T. White. If the Longhorns win game two, game three will be played immediately following the conclusion of game two.