Headed to State!
The Lexington Lady Eagle 15U softball team finished their regular season in the Rockdale Girls Softball League in first place. The top two teams advanced to District play in Salado where a field of 8 teams competed for the right to go to the State Tournament in Mildred, Texas. The district tournament was a double elimination format and gave teams the ability to lose one game but continue on. Lose two games and home you went. The young Lady Eagles drew Moody in the first round. The girls were excited to be there, but a little nervous and the nerves won out with Lexington losing the contest 18-3, sending the Eagles to the loser’s bracket. The second game pitted the two Rockdale League teams against each other, the first place Eagles and the second place Cameron Knockouts. In a game that came down to the last inning, the Eagles plated a runner in the bottom of the seventh inning, allowing them to win the game 7-6 and sending them on. On Wednesday, July 4th, the Eagles were forced to play 2 games to keep the dream alive. First up were the Lady Academy Bees. Lexington prevailed 9-5. The second game of the day brought Moody back around. Three days and four games into the series, the Lady Eagles were more settled and more determined to face the team that had earlier handed them a devastating loss. The second time around Lexington won 6-1. This win sent the Eagles back to Salado on Thursday afternoon at 4pm in the 100F weather to take on McGregor. The winner of this game would advance to State and the loser’s season would be over. In district competition you run against all kinds of teams. Some are hardened veteran travel clubs that play together all year and other teams pull together to play a little ball in the late spring and earlier summer for fun. McGregor was the former and Lexington was the later. Lexington was the home team and sent McGregor to the plate first. McGregor had the bases loaded, but was unable to score. Lexington went to the plate and was able to place one base runner before making their third out. In the second inning, McGregor again loaded the bases, but was unable to score a run against the Eagle defense. Likewise, the Eagles were hitting but not scoring. The third inning saw the first scoring. McGregor scored 2 runs while Lexington was sent backtothefieldwitha3upand3 down at bat. By the end of the 3rd inning McGregor held the lead 2- 0. In the 4th, McGregor was given the three up three down treatment, while Lexington platted a run. The new score was 2-1 McGregor. The 5th inning saw McGregor extend the lead to 3-1 adding 1 run while Lexington stalled. In the 6th, things started getting more exciting. McGregor added a single run, but stranded runners on second and third again. The Eagles went to bat and scored 2 runs to end the inning, 4-3 McGregor. In the 7th and final inning, the first 2 McGregor batters both were able to hit the ball to center field where the Lexington center fielder laid out twice to make spectacular catches. The Eagles came to bat after a quick 3 up and 3 down by McGregor. The first batter for Lexington hit a nice shot to shallow left field and made it safely to first. The next batter was a left handed slap hitter and was able to get on base with a fielder’s choice, throwing out the Eagle runner at second. With one out and a runner on first, the Lady Eagle leadoff batter came up. She sent a shot to left field and now there were runners on first and second. The next batter hit a solid shot to the second baseman that made the throw to first, getting the out but allowing the runners to advance to second and third. So it comes down to this: Bottom of the seventh, 2 outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd. The winner advances to state and the loser goes home. An out and the Eagles are done. One run and we tie and keep playing. The Lexington Lady Eagle batter steps up and on the first pitch hits a long hard shot to center field. With two outs, at the sound of the bat, the runners take off. The ball is high in flight with the McGregor center fielder tracking the ball well and running at a good angle. The fielder extends her glove and the ball hits right in the pocket. There is a split second of instant resolve on the part of the Eagles and extreme elation from McGregor, but before the gravity of the play sets in, the ball rolls out of the top of the fielder’s glove and hits the ground while the two Lady Eagles are streaking around the bases. Both of the Lexington runners score and the Lexington fans erupt!!!! Lexington wins 5 to 4 and advances to the State competition in Mildred.
The Eagles actually played one more game against Florence to decide the first and second place teams. The girls were hot, tired and spent, and Florence easily claimed first place.
The Lexington Lady Eagle 15U team will head to Mildred, Texas to play the State Tournament on July 16th. The team will be holding a car wash and bake sale, Saturday July 14th from 10am to 2pm in the parking lot of The Lexington Animal Clinic in Lexington, Texas. Your support and donations to the team would be greatly appreciated to help defer the cost of 12 families spending a week on the road in a hotel chasing the dream.