SUGAR LAND (Covering Fort Bend News) – Carole King famously sang, “mellow as the month of May,” but the first Saturday in May is anything but mellow for three Fort Bend ISD teams who will take the field in intense, decisive baseball and softball playoffs.
Ladies first: The Austin Bulldogs host Spring Branch Memorial in the finale of their best-of-three, second (area) round playoff series, tentatively scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.
Friday evening, the Lady ‘Dawgs finished a game they had started in the rain Thursday night. The two teams walked off the field after repeated lightning delays with Memorial leading 3-2 in the bottom of the second inning. Austin had two runners on with one out, and the game was suspended – so it resumed Friday as if there were no weather interruption.
When the game continued at 4 p.m. under cloudy but clearing skies, Austin (22-9) immediately took the lead. Mackenzie Flowe singled to drive home Cela Gomez to tie it, 3-3, leaving the bases loaded. Jessalyn Shipley followed with a triple to right field off Mustangs’ pitcher E Scofield to clear the bases, giving Austin a 6-3 lead. The Bulldogs would never trail again.
“Oh, my gosh, that kid is just getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on,” Bulldogs’ head coach Teresa Reyna said of Shipley, who hit a decisive home run in Game 1 of last week’s first (bi-district) round series vs. Cinco Ranch and has six RBI in four postseason games. “We hope she continues that into (today).”
Starting pitcher Angelina Leal helped her own cause with four hits in four at-bats, including a double and a triple. Inside the pitcher’s circle, she earned a complete game win, allowing eight Mustang hits and striking out five in a 12-8 victory.
If Austin wins Game 3, they face Katy Tompkins or Bellaire in the third round.
Ridge Point’s girls have already advanced to the third round with a 7-6 win Wednesday over Cy Creek in a one-game playoff that was broadcasted on VYPE Sports Radio at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype . Taylor Roman and Maggie Darr hit home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to erase a 6-5 deficit that would have ended the District 20-6A champions’ season. Now, the Panthers will face Katy.
As for Fort Bend ISD’s baseball teams, two have advanced through the first (bi-district) round. Ridge Point rode the dominant pitching of Hayde Key and Kyle Roosa to a two-game sweep of Katy Seven Lakes, 7-1 on Wednesday night and 3-1 in Thursday’s clincher. Both pitchers earned complete game wins. The Panthers face either Westside or Stratford in the second (area) round.
The Travis Tigers, co-champions with Ridge Point in District 20-6A, advanced – but not without high anxiety. Thursday night vs. Cinco Ranch on a neutral field in Sweeny in Game 1, the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning and lost, 7-4.
Friday, the Tigers went back to Sweeny and won twice to save their season, thanks to shutdown pitching performances. Kenny Dutka threw a five-hitter at the Cougars to win Game 2, 2-1. In Game 3, Caleb Manuel and Jeremy Yurcak combined on a two-hit shutout as the Tigers prevailed 5-0. Next, they face Spring Branch Memorial.
Ridge Point is seventh in the latest Houston area 6A rankings by VYPE powered by Barcelona Sports, and Travis is 12th.
The other two Fort Bend ISD playoff qualifiers, Dulles and Elkins, will try to advance with wins today.
Dulles and Katy have been trying to get their one-game playoff started the last two days, and rain has kept them off the field. They play this afternoon, tentatively scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m., and you can hear the game on VYPE Sports Radio at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. The winner will meet Houston Lamar in the second round.
Elkins beat District 19-6A’s champions and No. 1 playoff seed, the Tompkins Falcons, in Game 1 Wednesday at the Knights’ Rick Carpenter Field. Joseph Binder drew a walk-off walk in the 10th inning for the 5-4 win.
The plan for Elkins and Tompkins today: They play Game 2 at Sweeny at 2 p.m. If the Falcons win to force Game 3, the two ballclubs will get on their buses and head back to Elkins to play Game 3. The winner of the Elkins-Tompkins series will play Houston Heights or Cy Fair in the next round.
Any dedicated baseball fan connected to Elkins, Tompkins, Dulles or Katy who’s also interested in watching today’s Kentucky Derby will have to DVR the horse race.
Listen to live baseball and softball playoff broadcasts, as well as podcasts, at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. Also, listen to the podcast of the Ridge Point girls’ 7-6 win over Cy Creek in Wednesday night’s one-game, second-round softball playoff at that same link.