HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL

Vista Ridge softball eyes fifth straight playoff appearance

The Lady Rangers have won three of their first four district games and six of the last seven

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Vista Ridge softball coach Lauren Myrick knows her team is never out of the fight.

As district play heats up, the Lady Rangers aim to make the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. This year’s team is leaning on its combined experience to carry the load. 

“Our strength is in the way that we stay together,” Myrick said. “If this team stays together and fights for each other, we’re a hard team to beat. I think it comes down to their energy and passion as a group more than just hitting or pitching.”

Vista Ridge is 8-2 on the season and has won two of its first three district games and five of the last six, outscoring opponents 41-15 in that span. 

Senior Daryn Haslam, a New Mexico commit, is the team’s only returning first-team All-District selection. Senior Maya Benologa and junior Melayna Lopez were recognized on the second-team.

Sophomore Chloe Smith — last season’s District 25-6A Newcomer of the Year — has pitched in the last two games, going four innings with four strikeouts in the 4-3 win against Hendrickson and throwing four strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work in the 5-2 loss to Vandegrift. 

“We’ve got a little more experience this year,” Myrick said. “For us, it’s just about staying mentally focused and making sure we’re ready to go every game. Us as a group is really solid and it takes every single one of them to be successful.”

The never give up attitude has been at the forefront in the last two games. The Lady Rangers had the tying run at the plate in the loss to the Lady Vipers while Morgan Robillard drove in the game-winning run to cap a two-run rally against the Lady Hawks. 

Vista Ridge continues the district season on the road against Lake Travis Friday night at 7 p.m. and returns home for a pair of games next week, hosting Westlake on Tuesday and Lehman on Friday night. 

“Our district is super competitive and anybody can beat anybody at any time,” Myrick said. “We’ prepare in every practice like we’re playing for a championship. So we’re going to keep up the intensity and keep moving forward.”

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Email: sports@hillcountrynews.com

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