By Greg Ford
PLANO — The Lady Pirates are looking forward to making a “deep” postseason run.
They took a good first step towards doing that this past week at Plano East, where Wylie swept Frisco Centennial in a Class 5A, Region II bi-district action.
The Lady Pirates prevailed 5-3 in Game 1 on Thursday, April 30 and then closed things out the following night 5-1. The triumph sets up an area-round date this coming weekend with Rockwall Heath.
Wylie will face Heath in a best-of-three area-round series, starting 7 p.m. Thursday at Wylie, with Game 2 set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 8 at Heath. Game 3, if needed, will be played Saturday, May 9 at McKinney Boyd, starting at noon.
“They want to go deep this year. That is a goal of theirs,” Wylie head coach Heather Damron said.
It was a combination of timely hitting, strong defense and excellent pitching that propelled Wylie past the Lady Titans.
In Game 1, Brooke Dumas got the win, and had a double as well. The second contest saw Tristen Castaneda hurl a complete-game victory, while Wylie’s offense put together a four-run second inning for a 4-0 lead that held up until the bottom of the sixth.
At that point, the Lady Titans put together series of hits to score one run, and had the bases loaded with just one out on the board. However, Castaneda struck out one batter and got the next to ground into an inning-ending play.
The stanza also had its share of controversy, as catcher Katelyn Belch was shaken up when a Centennial runner deliberately plowed into her. The runner was called out and was also ejected from the contest for intentionally running into Belch.
Damron praised her team for keeping its cool after the incident, noting that it was the kind of play that could have made them angry and hurt their concentration.
“They turned around and stayed as calm as they could in that situation,” Damron said. “They have got a goal in mind and they are playing calm to get there.”
She added, “The girl kind of laid (Katelyn) out there, and when that happens … it’s easy for a team to get mad. We didn’t do that. We stayed calm, turned around and made the next play.”
The Lady Pirates closed things out in the top of the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Dumas and Jessica Lee, with the latter knocking in the former for the game’s final run.
“We had to be patient with this (Centennial pitcher),” Damron said. “We knew what she was going to throw, but we had to be patient. It took us a few innings, but we were able to tie the hits together when we needed to; I am pleased with that.”
The Lady Pirates also got two excellent pitching performances from Dumas and Castaneda, which bodes well as they move on through the postseason.
“Even in a one-game situation,” she noted, “when you get in a bind with one pitcher, you have someone else to go to, so we are very thankful for that.”