Azle falls in dual 1-hitter duel
By Mark K. Campbell
A crushing, 1-0 loss to visiting Wichita Falls Rider April 9 knocked the Lady Hornet softball team out of the playoffs.
With two games remaining, even if AHS wins both and Denton Guyer should lose both remaining 5-4A games, the Lady Wildcats own the head-to-head advantage – the primary tie-breaker in the district.
The Rider game was a diamond on the diamond. Both pitchers threw one-hitters. But an error made the difference in the game.
Azle (21-11, 6-6) got a stellar effort from starter MaKenzi Harris.
Rider’s one hit came in the fifth, a double. A sacrifice and a two-out error permitted the run.
The Lady Hornets had some chances. In the sixth inning Brooke Smith walked and Sarah Brown broke up the Lady Raider no-hitter with a sharp single.
A passed ball put Azle runners on second and third. Samantha Bradley stepped into the batter’s box and ripped a ball back at the Rider pitcher; the hurler snagged it for the third out.
Coach Vera Ortega said, “That was a tough loss, a good game with two very talented pitchers.”
Azle rebounded with an 8-1 thumping of Denton, but the die was cast with the Guyer defeat.
The Lady Hornets hosted playoff-bound – and No. 13 in 4A – TC Byron Nelson April 16.
The season ends Saturday, April 20 at Lake Dallas.
Certainly, the AHS district was a tough one. Aside from Nelson’s ranking, Rider (No. 17) and Brewer (No. 20) are also state-ranked.