Softball heads into district midpoint tied for top seed

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Softball heads into district midpoint tied for top seed

Senior Jojo McRae sprints to beat out a throw.

Senior Jojo McRae sprints to beat out a throw.

Grace Nguyen

Senior Jojo McRae sprints to beat out a throw.

Grace Nguyen

Grace Nguyen

Senior Jojo McRae sprints to beat out a throw.

Nick Smith, Sports Editor

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The softball team (20-3, 6-1) will host the Highland Park Scots (5-8, 1-5) tonight at 7 p.m., hoping to add to their District 15-5A wins as they continue to battle Forney (17-1, 6-1) for the top seed. While the girls handily beat the Scots 15-0 in their first match-up, head coach Jason Roberts stressed that repeating tonight won’t be easy.

“We can’t look past Highland Park Friday night,” Roberts said. “That is a crucial game. Their head coach is a great guy, does a tremendous job, and while they may be in the bottom of the standings, they are a good ballclub and can beat anyone.”

Heading into the second half of district play, the race for the four playoff seeds in District 15 remains highly contested with only two losses separating first place from fifth.

Highland Park tonight and next Tuesday’s contest against West Mesquite (4-11, 0-7) may not provide competition for the softball team, but are still important games to win in order to stay on top of the district standings.

“Like Coach Roberts says, any team can win on any day,” senior JoJo McRae. “We try to play each game like we are playing a competitive team, not playing down to our competition. We are in a very competitive district this year, but we believe in each other so I think that will take us a long way.”

While it may not have been pretty according to Roberts, the girls defeated the Royse City Bulldogs (4-7, 1-5) 15-3 last Tuesday after a slow start. Junior Alyssa DiFiore finished the game with seven RBIs, including a grand slam, and sophomore Celeste Soliz went four for five at the plate.

“Royse City did a good job and their pitcher kept us off balance, but then again we left seven runners on base in the first three innings,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we were as focused as we needed to be. We are in the grind of the district schedule, and we did not play to the best of our ability, but a win’s a win even if the score was not representative of the game. 15-3 doesn’t reflect how close it was.”

Building chemistry has been a big focus of the softball team this year and as the exhaustion of twice-weekly games increases, it will become the girl’s’ biggest strength to lean on as they close in on playoffs.

“Our chemistry has been great this year,” senior Emily Weichel said. “We’ve really bonded as a team and become friends off the field as well. All four classes hang out outside of softball together as well, and it really makes no difference cause we’re all one big family.”

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