IRVING, PRINCETON–The Mabank Lady Panthers advanced to the Area round of the playoffs with a Bi-district series sweep over the Terrell Lady Tigers.
The Mabank Lady Panthers varsity softball team travelled to Irving High School April 30 and then to Princeton May 1 to compete in their 14-4A Bi-District matchup with the Terrell Lady Tigers.
They competed hard and were very solid on defense, giving up only three runs over the two games.
Baylee Sales was the pitcher of record in both games, pitching a total of 13 innings and getting both wins. While she had 24 total strikeouts and an ERA of .538, the defense behind her was very solid and allowed minimal base runners.
The team had 55 total chances and they converted 50 of them; perhaps the biggest one a pop-up to Katy Brock to finish off game one that gave the Lady Panthers their first ever playoff victory.
Offensively, the Lady Panthers scored 18 runs: five in the first game for a 5-0 victory and 13 in the second and deciding game for a 13-3 win.
Everyone contributed in some way, whether it was a quality at-bat, a walk earned, a sacrifice bunt or an extra-base hit.
Hailey Ledbetter was the team leader in batting average (.600) and on base percentage (.667). Carlee Cline led the way with three hits in seven at-bats, all of them for extra bases, including a big solo home run late in game two. She drove in four runs and led the team in that category.
She was followed by freshman Chloe Holland and junior Ashlyn Liles, who each drove in three runs; one of those, an inside-the-park home run for Holland in only her second varsity start of the season.
Payten Nolen and Kallie Beasley each drove in two runs and also tore up the base paths with Beasley stealing three bases and Nolen stealing two.
The team leaned on their senior leadership, both offensively and defensively, and there is no doubt that Kallie Beasley, Hannah Hanes and Mackenzie Morgan each left an imprint on these games and on the underclassmen.
“The coaching staff is extremely proud of this team and their hard work and dedication,” Head Coach Colby Sales said. “We have accomplished something that has never been done in Mabank softball and that is to win a playoff series.”
This historic continues as Mabank advances to take on the Bullard Lady Panthers in the Area round of playoffs. Game one is scheduled for May 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Grand Saline. Game two is set for Saturday at noon with game three, if necessary, following 45 minutes after.