Kerens finishes third in District 20-2A, expected to play Overton in postseason
KERENS – As the sun set on Bob Lancaster Park on the Kerens ISD campus, four senior softball players gathered on the mound with Coach Aaron Kinney after their last home game.
The senior quartet included Mya Lincoln, Myliah Lincoln, Gracie Harrell and Triniti Hataway. “I told them it’s been a great career,” Kinney said, “they are the only four who’ve played all four years. They’ve come a long way, they’ve grown a lot. They left their mark, they left their impact. It’s a tradition now. It’s an every-year thing, going to the playoffs. I just told them I was proud of them and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
The team had just fallen 6-0 in their final regular-season game, which happened to be at home, against district-champion Cross Roads. Kerens, which finished third in 20-2A, is penciled in to play Overton in the bi-district round of the playoffs, with the best-of-three series scheduled to start Thursday, April 25 at the tentative site of Palestine Westwood.
“All of my seniors are the best kids, they are fun to coach,” Kinney continued. “They all contribute totally different. They all led this year. They worked with the freshmen to get them better. It’s been a great group.”
In that last home game, Hataway allowed one Cross Roads run in the top of the first inning, but came back to retire the side in the second. Cross Roads added to its lead in the top of the third inning with a one-out, two-run home run to center field, which gave the visitors a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Cross Roads had one run walked in, but Hataway got out of the bases-loaded jam by striking out one player, then coaxing a fly ball to right field to end the inning. Cross Roads added two more runs in the sixth, on a sacrifice fly and a double off the left-field wall.
Hataway struck out the side in the top of the seventh to segue into Kerens’ last chance, which started with Kaylee Reed reaching on an error and stealing second base. From that point, Cross Roads pitcher Gracyn Cunningham overpowered Kerens to seal the victory.