The Lady Lions Varsity Softball team secured an Area Championship on Friday evening when they took down a Central Texas powerhouse in the Lake Travis Lady Cavaliers in two games.
The best-of-three series started in Lockhart on Thursday night, in front of a capacity (and beyond) crowd. The Lady Lions gave their home-field fans a game to remember, edging the Cavs 3-2.
Lockhart jumped out to an early two-run lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Chelsea Capello reached on a two-out single and Mikaela Flores sent a shot over the right field fence to make the score 2-0.
Lockhart recorded only four more hits through the seventh inning.
Lake Travis made three great defensive plays by snagging hard-hit line drives away from the Lady Lions.
Lockhart needed one extra inning to seal their first win of the Area Series.
In the top of the eighth, Mackinzee Griebel legged out a double, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the left fielder.
With no outs and a runner on third, the Lake Travis pitcher struck out Giselle Maciel, and saw Capello pop up to first base. With two outs and Griebel seemingly stranded at third, Flores once again stepped up, this time with a hard line drive to left field. Thanks to the ball tailing at the last minute and spinning out of the fielder’s glove, Griebel was able to dash home, scoring the winning run for the Lady Lions.
Flores also picked up the win on the mound, striking out six batters and allowing only five hits. She was also offensive leader for the team, with her home run and three RBIs. Griebel was 2-4 on the night.
On Friday, the Lady Lions traveled to Lake Travis High School for Game Two in the series; the Lady Lions were playing for the championship while the Cavs were simply struggling to stay in the hunt.
At night’s end, the Lady Lions earned the Area Championship and advanced into the Regional Quarterfinals on the high end of a 4-3 final score.
Once again, the Lady Lions jumped out to an early lead. Griebel led off where she left off on Thursday night, doubling to left center to start off the inning. Giselle Maciel grounded out to third and advanced Griebel to third base with one out.
Having learned about Mikaela Flores on Thursday evening, the Lake Travis pitcher wanted nothing to do with her, walking her with four straight pitches. Flores then drew a throw from the pitcher, which allowed Griebel to scramble in from third, and Flores to advance to second.
The Lady Lions struck again in the third inning.
Griebel hit a ground ball through the middle of the infield to reach first base. The next batter, Maciel was able to beat out an infield hit to put runners at first and second with one out. Chelsea Capello then lined a double down the third-base line to score both Griebel and Maciel.
Though the pitcher tried to pitch around Flores again, she was able to put just enough bat on the ball to drop it into left field, scoring Capello on the third run of the inning.
Lockhart’s bats were silenced the rest of the game, recording only three more hits.
Four runs, as it turned out, were enough.
Flores again took the win on the mound, this time striking out three batters while allowing 10 hits. The Lady Lion defense stood strong behind her, making clutch plays when they needed to and coming up with the win.
Griebel went 2-2, with two runs scored. Capello had a double and an RBI, and Flores went 2-3 with one RBI.
The wins advanced the Lady Lions to the Regional Quarterfinals, where they will face district rivals the Smithson Valley Lady Rangers on Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. The game will be held at San Antonio Northeast Stadium, 14800 Judson Rd., in San Antonio. In their last meeting, the Lady Lions ended a six-year streak for the Lady Rangers, who had not lost a game at home in six years before the Lady Lions came to visit in late April.