High school softball regional semifinal roundup

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The Pampa Lady Harvesters celebrate after sweeping Burkburnett in the Class 4A regional semifinals on Saturday at Frenship. [Charla Shults/ Press Pass Sports]

Pampa dominates Burkburnett in regional semifinals 

The Pampa Lady Harvesters made it look rather easy cruising past Burkburnett with a sweep in the Class 4A regional semifinals on Friday and Saturday at Frenship High School.

Behind timely hitting and dominant pitching of Kynleigh Kirby the Lady Harvesters took down the Lady Bulldogs 6-2 in the first game and finished off the sweep with an 8-1 blowout on Saturday. The Lady Harvesters also gained a measure of revenge falling to Burkburnett in this same round last year.

Pampa (22-12) is the only Texas Panhandle softball team left standing and will now play in the regional finals for the first time in 10 years when they face Sanger (35-7) at a time and place to be determined.

“This series win is huge for our program,” Pampa head coach Dottie Hawthorne said. “This team has worked so very hard the entire season. They have had to overcome a lot and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Pampa’s Kynleigh Kirby delivers a pitch against Burkburnett on Friday night. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]
In Friday’s opener, the Lady Harvesters built an early 5-0 lead and never looked back. Kassie Arnzen was the pop at the plate for Pampa going 3-for-3 with an RBI with Kirby shutting the Lady Bulldogs (31-12) down working a complete game allowing two earned runs with nine strikeouts.

On Saturday, Pampa once again jumped all over the Lady Bulldogs taking a 5-0 lead after three innings going on for the 8-1 victory. In this contest the spark was provided by Karina Gonzalez who blasted two solo homers. Kirby was dominant in the circle throwing another perfect complete game scattering four hits with six K’s.

“Kynleigh was a fighter in the circle for us in this series,” Hawthorne said. Our defense was solid behind her and offensively the team contributed. We were determined to redeem ourselves from last year.”

Dumas showed grit in heartbreaking series loss to Sanger 

Down and out multiple times, the Dumas Demonettes never stopped fighting showing their true grit but, in the end, it was Sanger pulling out a dramatic three-game series win over Dumas during the Class 4A regional semifinal round on Friday and Saturday at Abilene Christian University.

Sanger had taken Game 1 to open the series Friday with an 8-2 victory. Saturday was a much different story. In Game 2, the Demonettes season looked imminent trailing Sanger 5-3 heading into the top of the seventh.

That’s when Dumas broke out the rally bats. It started with a solo homer from Star Cortes cutting the deficit 5-4. After tying the game, 5-5, Madi Zubia stepped up with a base-clearing three-run double giving Dumas an 8-5 lead that the Demonettes would hold on to forcing a decisive rubber match.

In Game 3, Dumas was down once again this time 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when the cardiac Demonettes started fighting again. Dumas plated four runs in the inning highlighted by an RBI triple from Yaritza Vargas.

However, Sanger struck with a comeback of its own in the top of half of the seventh. After a devasting error for Dumas, Sanger scored three runs to take a 6-5 lead and hold on to eliminate the Demonettes.

Dumas, the District 4-4A champions, ends a tremendous year at 33-8. Sanger (35-7) advances to face Pampa (22-12) in the regional finals at a time and place to be determined.

Brylee Adams of Bushland delivers a pitch against Coahoma during a Class 3A regional semifinal at Rocky Johnson Field on the campus of Texas Tech University of Friday. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]

Coahoma ends Bushland’s run for third straight year 

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Bushland Lady Falcons against powerhouse Coahoma.

For a third straight year the No. 1-ranked Bulldogettes grounded the Lady Falcons in the Class 3A regional semifinals getting a lopsided 11-1 win on Thursday in Seminole followed by a 5-2 victory to complete the sweep at Rocky Johnson Field in Lubbock on Friday.

Bushland ends another fantastic season at 27-7-1 while Coahoma, the defending Class 3A state champions, continues its dominance moving to 29-0 on the season and winners of 53 straight dating back to last year. Coahoma moves on to get Iowa Park (26-13-1) in the regional finals.

Thursday’s opener was moved to Seminole and didn’t start until almost 8:30 p.m. due to rainy conditions.

Coahoma opened the game up 4-0 thanks to a three-run third inning and shut the door on Bushland with a seven-run sixth inning to put the contest away.

Hannah Wells (13) celebrates after hitting a grand slam against Bushland on Friday. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]
On Friday, the Lady Falcons had a top of the second inning that will be hard to forget.

With two on and two outs, Coahoma’s Karleigh Burt drew a questionable walk on a pitch from Brylee Adams that looked to hit the inside of the plate. Instead of being out of the inning scoreless, University of Texas commit Hannah Wells made the Lady Falcons pay on the next at-bat delivering an opposite field grand slam to put the Bulldogettes up 4-0.

Bushland never recovered as Coahoma went on for the win and the series sweep.

Wells was as good as advertised as she tallied two wins in the circle against a very good hitting Bushland team tossing all 14 innings allowing four total runs but racked up 23 strikeouts.

Iowa Park sweeps River Road 

River Road’s Cinderella run through the Class 3A playoffs came to an end over the weekend as Iowa Park was able to get a sweep of the Lady Wildcats in the regional semifinals.

The Lady Hawks dominated Thursday’s opener at Amarillo High 13-1 then capped off the sweep thanks to 10-4 home victory Saturday.

River Road, which reached the regional semifinals for the first time in seven years, ends a stellar season at 24-11. Iowa Park (26-13-1) advances to play No. 1 Coahoma (29-0) in the regional championship.

Iowa Park ate up the Lady Cats with eight runs over the fifth and sixth inning in Thursday’s opener. Lady Hawks pitcher Callista Berrett was the star holding River Road to one hit with 10 K’s.

In Saturday’s second game, the Lady Wildcats had cut a five-run lead to 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth. That was until the Lady Hawks answered with a five-spot going up 10-4. Berrett once again did her job with 16 strikeouts over seven innings allowing four runs on five hits.

This was the final game for River Road head coach David Smirl who announced his retirement earlier this season. Smirl ends his 20 plus year career with over 300 wins.

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