By Greg Ford
The Lady Pirates have cut a swath through two playoff opponents, and they don’t appear ready to stop.
Their latest victim was Waxahachie, whom they swept 6-5 (May 1) and 13-2 (May 3) last week in a best-of-three second-round series. That earned them a Region II quarterfinal date with Hallsville, which defeated Wylie last season in the bi-district round.
The first and second quarterfinal games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Grand Saline High School, with Game 3, if needed, scheduled there 2 p.m. Saturday.
“After we got that first (playoff victory over Mount Pleasant) out of the way, those nerves kind of passed a little bit, which is what we needed,” said Wylie head coach Heather Damron. “We were able to go in (to the area round) and relax and play with some confidence … Fortunately, in the second round against Waxahachie it came out in over favor.”
Hallsville, which is ranked in the top 10 statewide, earned their spot in the third round by beating Mansfield Legacy in three games in the area round. The victor of this week’s series will play the winner of the Frisco Centennial-North Forney series in the Region II semifinals.
“Hallsville is a ranked team, and we have our work cut out for us,” Damron said. “We have to do a great job of preparing this week … and we have to put our best foot forward and see how it pans out. On any given day, anything can happen.”
Brooke Dumas was the winning pitcher in both games last week, and provided some offense in Saturday’s 13-2 victory at Waxahachie with a double. Overall, the Lady Pirates collected 15 hits in that contest, including a home run from Serena Saldivar and a triple from Katelyn Belch.
Two days earlier at Wylie, Saldivar, Jessica Lee and Tristen Castaneda each doubled in the 6-5 victory, with Alexis Shackleford adding a triple.
The Lady Pirates collected 27 hits against Lady Indian pitching after recording just one in a 3-2 first-round victory over Mount Pleasant.
“Once we settle down after getting past Mount Pleasant, we hit the ball well again,” Damron said, “which has been a key for us all year. Then, we also played great defense … We played good defense against Waxahachie, so that helped us.”
Note: A year ago, Hallsville knocked off Wylie 14-2 and 7-4 in a pair of bi-district games played in Bullard and Lindale.
Two players who got significant playing time in that series were Castaneda and Dumas, each of whom was a freshman at the time and each saw time on the mound.
“I think it’ll be great for both of them next year to say ‘Hey, I’ve been in a playoff game and I’ve been in the (pitching) circle,’” Damron said after the Game 2 loss.