By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
After cruising to a 22-0 victory over Richardson in the bi-district round of the UIL softball playoffs last Friday night, McKinney Boyd (27-5-1) will get to face Mesquite High School in a best-of-three area round series, starting on Thursday night.
Mesquite (16-8) finished second in District 11-5A behind Mesquite Horn. The Lady Skeeters advanced past the bi-district round by defeating A&M Consolidated two games to one. After losing game one 4-1, Mesquite won 5-4 and 2-1 on Saturday to win the series and set up the series with the Lady Broncos. Pitcher Victoria Bice, who comes into the series with a 12-2 record and a 1.07 ERA, leads the Lady Skeeters on the mound and was the pitcher of record in all three games versus A&M Consolidated last weekend. At the plate, Bice leads her team with 5 triples and a .556 batting average. In terms of pure power, Bailey Stokes leads Mesquite with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs, while adding on 3 stolen bases.
For the Lady Broncos, pitcher Erin Riding will be extremely important if Boyd looks to continue its magical season. Riding comes into the weekend’s series with a 19-5 mark and a 1.32 ERA. However, both Riley Wagner, who got the win last week in the game versus Richardson, and Carly Nicklas are two young pitchers that the Lady Broncos feel confident in handing the ball to if need be. For a group that has so many underclassmen, the deeper into playoffs that this McKinney Boyd team goes the heavier and heavier that pressure gets, so it will interesting to see how they respond to stressful situations in a playoff atmosphere this weekend.
Thursday – Game One @ Boyd – vs. Mesquite @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday – Game Two @ Mesquite – vs. Mesquite @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday – Game Three (if nec) @ Plano – vs. Mesquite @ 1 p.m.
McKinney High will have its hands full against the champions out of District 12-4A, Dallas Hillcrest, as the Lionettes take on the Lady Panthers in a best-of-three area round series starting on Thursday night at Frisco Heritage. Hillcrest (16-3) finished its district record with a perfect 12-0 mark, winning games by an average of almost 13 runs. After crushing Pinkston 23-1 in the bi-district round, the Lady Panthers head into the matchup with MHS having not lost since late February.
Two pitchers lead Hillcrest on the mound that don’t have tremendously impressive numbers, but definitely know how to get the job done. Sarah Fife is 6-1 with a 2.80 ERA, while Audrey Martinez, who was the winning pitcher it Hillcrests first playoff game, is 8-4 with a 4.67 ERA. Expect to see plenty of both pitchers this week for the Lady Panthers.
McKinney High’s tremendous comeback in last week’s series versus Carrollton Creekview should provide the team with some momentum heading into this week’s matchup. MHS (19-11) will continue to rely on Chelsea Thomas on the mound this week, considering she was the pitcher of record in all three games last weekend. If Thomas gets it going on the mound and at the plate, MHS has another chance of upsetting a higher seed and continuing on in the UIL state softball tournament.
Thursday – Game One @ Frisco Heritage – vs. Hillcrest @ 7 p.m.
Friday – Game Two @ Frisco Heritage – vs. Hillcrest @ 7 p.m.
Saturday – Game Three (if nec) @ Frisco Heritage – vs. Hillcrest @ 7 p.m.