Lady Dragons, Lady Horns, Dragons, Longhorns, Tigers set for weekend playoff action
Five Brown County softball and baseball teams will attempt to keep their dreams of reaching the state tournament alive during playoff action this weekend.
In softball, the District 7-3A champion Bangs Lady Dragons tangle with Reagan County in a one-game Region I-3A area round playoff at 5:30 p.m. Friday at San Angelo Central. Meanwhile, the 7-3A runner-up Early Lady Horns clash with District 6-3A champion Wall at 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday in Tuscola in a best-of-three playoff series.
In baseball, the District 7-3A second seed Bangs Dragons begin postseason play against the Cisco Loboes in a Region I-3A bi-district playoff series with the first game at 7 p.m. Friday in Bangs and Games 2 and 3 at noon Saturday in Cisco. The District 7-3A fourth seed Early Longhorns will square off against District 8-3A champion Clyde at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday in Eastland in a best-of-three series.
Also, the District 7-2A fourth seed May Tigers — making just their second-ever playoff appearance — challenge District 8-2A champion Albany in a Region I-2A bi-district series at 5 p.m. Friday at Cisco College and noon Saturday at Ranger College.
Lady Dragons vs. Reagan County
The Lady Dragons (23-4), winners of 11 games in a row, are coming off a 7-2 victory over Dublin in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
Taylor Malett recorded all three of Bangs’ hits — a single, a double and a triple — with an RBI and two runs scored, while Raelee Francois reached on a pair of errors and drove in a run. Kialie Dodson and Ashton Crow both walked, which led to two runs, while Erin Anderson reached on an error and also crossed the plate.
In the circle, Anderson went the distance and surrendered two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts.
Reagan County, the third seed from District 5-3A, defeated Merkel 7-4 in Game 1, lost 11-3 in Game 2 and captured Game 3 by a 13-5 count to advance to area.
The Bangs-Reagan County winner will face either District 8-3A champion Clyde or District 5-3A runner-up Coahoma in the regional quarterfinals.
Lady Horns vs. Wall
The Lady Horns (20-10) swept two games from Cisco in the bi-district round, collecting victories of 12-5 and 8-0.
In the opener, Early’s MaKayla DeLeon struck out 12 and walked four, allowing five earned runs on six hits.
Offensively for Early, Beale Madison Gordon was 2 for 2 with a walk and four runs scored; Laiken Reagan finished 2 for 4 with an RBI and three runs; Sydnee Shea went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored; and DeLeon was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Parker Smith also added a hit, two walks, an RBI and a run scored, while Ramsie Rodgers drove in a pair of RBIs.
In Game 2, DeLeon tossed a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and one walk, while Early’s defense committed just one error.
Ashlyn Kirby finished with a pair of hits and accounted for two runs while Gordon also chipped in two hits and crossed the plate once. Smith added a hit, a walk, reached on an error and scored three runs, while Reagan doubled home a run and Shaunna Pinson chipped in a single.
Wall (20-6) knocked off Sonora, 14-8, in the opening round to advance.
Taylor Bickford doubled three times and recorded four RBIs for the Lady Hawks, while Ashlynn Box added a hit and drove in four.
Kenzee Smith allowed three runs in four innings without giving up a hit, as she struck out seven and walked two while the Lady Hawk defense committed seven errors. Bickford pitched the final three innings and yielded five runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks.
The Early-Wall survivor will face either District 5-3A champion Colorado City or District 8-3A runner-up Breckenridge in the regional quarterfinals.
Dragons vs. Cisco
The Dragons (8-12), who have dropped three of their last four contests — including a 6-2 decision to Class 4A Graham in a recent playoff warm-up — will attempt to right the ship against the District 8-3A third seed Lobos.
Bangs’ last victory occurred on April 19, a 9-7 triumph at Early.
In the most recent outing against Graham, Bangs scored twice in the top of the third inning to pull even, but yielded the last four runs. The Dragons also committed four errors compared to none for the Steers.
Colton Brewer, Charlie Bettis and Kolton Jacobs accounted for the only hits, with Brewer collecting a pair of RBIs.
On the mound, Chance Beck, Brewer and Bettis combined to allow four earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
The most recent outing for Cisco (7-13) was a 9-6 loss to Dublin in the regular season finale.
The Loboes squandered a 3-0 lead after four innings, committing seven errors.
Dustin Ferguson, Cord Lewis and Les Edgar combined to give up six earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Seth Allen finished with four hits and two RBIs while Carson Teaff chipped in a hit and drove in a pair for Cisco.
The Bangs-Cisco series winner will face either District 6-3A champion Jim Ned or District 5-3A fourth seed Colorado City in the area round of the playoffs.
Longhorns vs. Clyde
The Longhorns (8-12), who reached the third round of the playoffs a year ago, are looking to generate some postseason magic against the 8-3A top-seeded Bulldogs.
Early has dropped three of its last four outings with its most recent victory being a 5-2 win over Brady in the regular season finale.
In a seeding playoff game against Coleman on April 29, the Longhorns dropped an 11-9 decision. Trailing 2-1, the Longhorns surrendered eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. Facing a 10-1 deficit, Early manufactured eight runs in its final three trips to the plate but still came up short.
Christian Alcorta and Tristan Horton surrendered a combined six earned runs on 12 hits with four walks and seven strikeouts, as the Longhorn defense committed four errors.
Offensively, Horton led Early with two hits while Abel Hernandez, David Morales, Trace Evans, Drew Sessler and Kylar Mercer added one each. Morales, Evans, Sessler and Alcorta each recorded two RBIs.
Clyde (20-3) posted an 8-0 district record as its three losses came in non-district action to Wall, 12-4, Jim Ned, 4-2, and Graham, 6-1. Prior to the Graham loss in playoff warm-up action, Clyde had won 13 games in a row.
The Early-Clyde series winner will move on to battle either District 5-3A runner-up Sonora or District 6-3A third seed Ballinger in area.
Tigers vs. Albany
The Tigers are back in the playoffs for the second time and are seeking their first postseason victory. In 2014, May was eliminated in the first round by Valley Mills.
May finished fourth in District 7-2A action this season, with victories over the likes of Goldthwaite, San Saba and Winters.
Albany (13-1) lost just one game en route to the District 8-2A championship.
The May-Albany survivor will challenge either District 5-2A runner-up McCamey or District 6-3A third seed Ira in the area round of the playoffs.