The Vista Ridge softball team is using the high intensity of the last part of district play as a boost as the second round of the playoffs begin.
In the last five games of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs, the Lady Rangers have been in five one-run games. They beat San Antonio MacArthur in the first round to set a second-round series against San Antonio Holmes.
“I think we’ve been playing some solid softball and as competitive as our district is and the softball that we’ve played the last seven games, you can’t compare it to any other district,” head coach Lauren Myrick said. “They’re going to be competitive.”
Game 1 will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at Vista Ridge, Game 2 will be Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Northside ISD in San Antonio and, if necessary, Game 3 will be Saturday at the Noack Sports Complex in Austin.
The Lady Rangers took two of three games against San Antonio MacArthur in the first round.
“We knew going in it was going to be a battle,” Myrick said. “They’re very well-coached and they’ve got some good kids on their team and we played them last year in playoffs so we knew what we were facing.”
Amber Wiggins pitched seven innings and gave up three runs in the first game and retired the first 14 batters she faced in the 4-3 win in eight innings at home on Thursday night. They had five straight one-run games to end the regular season and begin playoffs.
MacArthur scored three runs in the first inning, three runs in the second inning of Game 2 and ran away with a 7-3 win. Melayna Lopez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, but the comeback came up short.
Vista Ridge once again came out aggressive on Saturday, scoring two runs in the first inning. Wiggins held the Lady Brahmas to three runs, Lopez hit her second two-run home run of the series and the Lady Rangers won 6-3.
Myrick said she was most proud that her team really stood their ground, played defense and didn’t get nervous about anything and were able to squash any momentum MacArthur tried to build.
“Setting the tone first inning is huge in the playoffs,” Myrick said. “It’s such an intense atmosphere that to have those extra runs early instead of fighting back int he end just gives you a lot of confidence.”
Holmes finished atop the District 28-6A standings for the second straight year, going 16-2 in district play, one game better than second-place San Antonio Warren. The Lady Huskies scored the third most runs in the district (128) while allowing the second-fewest (51).
Vista Ridge’s motto this season has been ‘Whatever It Takes Together’ and concentrating on taking every game as a learning opportunity and going into the next game stronger because of it.
“Facing the adversities of having extra-inning games or having to play from behind or not always getting the calls and how you react to it,” Myrick said. “And doing what it takes to refocus. If this group can do that, we’re really, really hard to beat.”