Softball to face Sulphur Springs in playoffs


Grace Nguyen

Seniors huddle after win against Royse City.

Nick Smith, Sports Editor

With the district season complete, the softball team (25-5 overall, 11-3 in district 15-5A) will head into the UIL 5A state playoffs with a second seed and bi-district matchup with the Sulphur Springs Wildcats (22-7) of district 16 on deck. The Leopards will compete in a best of three series against the third-seeded Wildcats with their first game away tonight at 7 p.m. and second game home on Friday at 7 p.m.

“Sulphur Springs is a good little ballclub and David Carrillo, who’s been the head coach there for 11 years, I’ve known for quite a while,” head coach Jeff Roberts said. “He has a disciplined bunch and they’re very scrappy. They have six or seven pitchers in the program that all throw strikes and while I don’t expect them to overpower us, they move the ball well around the zone and they will be a very competitive ballclub.”

Roberts said the team will be on the lookout for the Wildcat’s centerfielder that is committed to Seton Hall and serves as the “sparkplug” for the team, as well as their first baseman who provides the power with 6-8 home runs on the year.

The Leopards faced Sulphur Springs in the bi-district round of playoffs in 2014 and won 2-1 in a best of three series, and senior Emily Weichel said she hopes to see the same success against the Wildcats she saw in her freshman year.

“I don’t remember specifics from that game but I do know it was a good competition,” Weichel said. “We shouldn’t expect this year’s team to be any different so we’re gonna have to play well and get hits for sure. Just focusing on sitting back, being late, and trying to hit the opposite field.”

Finishing only one game back, the Leopards lost out on the district 15 championship to the Forney Jackrabbits (23-2, 12-2), but senior Alex Bellows said the team will have a chance to see the Jackrabbits in playoffs and avenge their loss.

“It was upsetting at first to lose out on the championship, but our main goal was to get our whole team healthy and ready for playoffs so it doesn’t matter as much,” Bellows said. “We hope to see Forney in playoffs and get that chance back.”