High School: 2012 UIL softball playoffs

Forney, Plano East fall short at state softball

June, 3, 2012
Plano East and Forney lost in the semifinals of the UIL state softball tournament Friday.

Plano East lost 6-3 to Klein Collins in a Class 5A semifinal. Deer Park beat Klein Collins 6-0 in the 5A state championship game.

Forney lost 11-3 to Montgomery in a 4A semifinal. Spring Branch Smithson Valley knocked off Montgomery 9-8 to win the 4A championship.

Other UIL state softball champions for 2012 are 1A Flatonia, 2A Crawford and 3A Lufkin Hudson.

Plano East outfielder Chandler Cink and Forney outfielder Rylie Chappell were named to the all-state softball tournament team.

Here are the full all-state tournament teams:

Plano East, Forney reach state softball tourney

May, 28, 2012
Class 4A Forney and Class 5A Plano East are the only schools from the area to reach the UIL state softball tournament, which runs Wednesday-Saturday in Austin.

Plano East defeated District 8-5A rival Hebron 5-4 in the 5A Region 1 final to earn its trip to state. The Panthers will face Klein Collins in a semifinal game at 3 p.m. Friday at the University of Texas' McCombs Field. The 5A championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.

Forney edged Ennis in a best-of-three 4A Region 2 final series, 6-5, 10-12, 2-1. The Jackrabbits face Montgomery in a state semifinal at 9 a.m. Friday. The 4A championship game is at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Here is the entire UIL state softball tournament schedule:

Class 1A semifinals
  • 9 a.m. - Ivanhoe Rayburn (24-1-1) vs. Petrolia (18-12)
  • Noon - Flatonia (28-5) vs. Garrison (26-5-1)
Class 2A semifinals
  • 3 p.m. - Mineola (32-1) vs. Alpine (31-6)
  • 6 p.m. - Crawford (34-2) vs. Danbury (27-7)
Class 3A semifinals
  • 9 a.m. - Lufkin Hudson (34-5) vs. West (29-9)
  • Noon - Henderson (29-8) vs. Liberty Hill (27-8)
Class 1A championship
  • 3 p.m. - Ivanhoe Rayburn/Petrolia winner vs. Flatonia/Garrison winner
Class 2A championship
  • 6 p.m. - Mineola/Alpine winner vs. Crawford/Danbury winner
Class 4A semifinals
  • 9 a.m. - Montgomery (33-6) vs. Forney (32-7-2)
  • Noon - Spring Branch Smithson Valley (28-6) vs. Waco Midway (34-8)
Class 5A semifinals
  • 3 p.m. - Plano East (35-3) vs. Klein Collins (30-4)
  • 6 p.m. - Northside O’Connor (31-2) vs. Deer Park (29-8)
Class 3A championship
  • 10 a.m. - Lufkin Hudson/West winner vs. Henderson/Liberty Hill winner
Class 4A championship
  • 1 p.m. - Montgomery/Forney winner vs. Spring Branch Smithson Valley/Waco Midway winner
Class 5A championship
  • 4 p.m. - Plano East/Klein Collins winner vs. Northside O’Connor/Deer Park winner

Results from UIL softball playoff regional finals

May, 28, 2012
UIL softball tournament regional final results:

Plano East 5, Hebron 4

Klein Collins 8, The Woodlands 1

Deer Park d. Pearland (1-0, 2-0)

San Antonio O'Connor 9, Northside Holmes 2

Waco Midway 3, Birdville 2

Forney d. Ennis (6-5, 10-12, 2-1)

Montgomery d. Little Cypress-Mauriceville (6-5, 1-4, 5-4)

Spring Branch Smithson Valley 7, Canyon 5
To say the Flower Mound softball team had a rough week would be a terrible understatement.

The team thought it had Saturday's one-game Class 5A regional quarterfinal against Plano East in the bag on a walk-off hit that scored a runner from second base in the bottom of the seventh.

The play appeared to end when the runner slid past a tag from the Plano East catcher, eliciting a safe signal from the home plate umpire.

But the runner was tagged during the Flower Mound celebration and was called out for not touching home plate.

The controversy boiled down to a small difference in rules between softball and baseball as mandated by the National High School Federation.

Rule 2, section 1, article 9 of the NHSF rule book states: “If a runner misses home plate and the catcher misses the tag, the umpire should hesitate slightly. If no tag is made, the umpire should declare the runner safe. If an appeal play is then made by tagging either the runner or home plate, the umpire should then make a decision on this appeal play.”

In baseball, umpires are instructed to hold position and refrain from making any call if no tag is made on a play and the runner misses the plate.

“The intention of the rule was probably meant to be good but in this situation it was not,” Flower Mound coach Mark Larriba said.

Flower Mound failed to plate any more runners in the seventh and could not come from behind in the eighth after Plano East took a 3-2 lead, ending the Lady Jaguars’ season in a crushing fashion.

And it came while the team was already dealing with tragedy.

Earlier in the week, Flower Mound catcher Christy Lisenby's father died in a car accident. The team did not practice Wednesday and had a memorial service to attend after the Saturday's game.

“There was a lot of emotion going around and then to have that happen,” Larriba said. “It was difficult to tell the girls the right thing. We realized softball is like life – it’s not fair. Sometimes things go against you but how you react to adversity is what coaches teach you and we really had to apply that.”

Larriba said he has no hard feelings toward the umpire, whom he said was trying to do his job to the best of his abilities, and wished Plano East the best of luck in their journey deeper in to the playoffs.

He just chalks it up to the human element to the game – which includes those who write the rules.

“The lesson is that people make mistakes. If we never forgave people for making mistakes, the world would be a hateful place,” Larriba said.

At least one area team destined for Austin

All that remain in the Class 4A Region II bracket are four strong teams from the Metroplex, meaning one will earn a bid to the state tournament in Austin.

Defending state finalist Forney returns to the regional semifinal to face a hot Rockwall squad that has yet to face much of a challenge in its playoff run. The first two games will be held at Forney on Thursday and Rockwall on Friday, with a rubber match Saturday at Plano West if necessary.

The winner of that series has either Frisco Wakeland or Ennis to look forward to in the region final.

Wakeland has been impressive, outscoring opponents 53-2 through four games in the first three rounds of play.

In 4A Region I, Birdville is the only area team still alive.

Hebron ousts Plano in regional quarterfinal

Plano will not make a return trip to Austin after falling to Hebron 4-2 in a one-game Class 5A regional quarterfinal Saturday.

That leaves just Plano East and Hebron representing the area in the 5A bracket, both in Region I. Plano East faces Lubbock Coronado and Hebron takes on El Paso Americas in the regional semis this weekend.
Results for UIL softball regional quarterfinal playoff matchups (Regions 1 and 2):

  • Lubbock Coronado over Midland Lee (2-0, 6-1)
  • Plano East 3, Flower Mound 2
  • El Paso Americas over El Paso Hanks (13-3, 4-9, 14-10)
  • Hebron 4, Plano 2
  • Temple 7, McKinney Boyd 2
  • The Woodlands 12, Tomball 5
  • Bryan over Belton (11-7, 3-4, 11-2)
  • Klein Collins 10, Conroe Oak Ridge 0
  • Wichita Falls Rider 9, Canyon Randall 0
  • Waco Midway over Fort Worth Western Hills (4-3, 3-2)
  • Wolfforth Frenship 4, El Paso Chapin 3
  • Birdville 3, Burleson 1
  • Rockwall 6, McKinney 4
  • Forney over Elgin (10-5, 7-6)
  • Frisco Wakeland 10, Wylie 0
  • Ennis over Pflugerville Hendrickson (0-4, 3-1, 8-2)
Rockwall and McKinney faced off twice this softball season in District 10-4A play, with district champion Rockwall winning both times, 3-1 and 8-2.

Just because district play is over doesn’t mean these two are done battling.

Rockwall and McKinney are slated to square off again in the regional quarterfinals of the 2012 UIL softball state playoffs in a best-of-three series at Allen High School.

Rockwall rides a high into the regional quarterfinal after knocking of Frisco Centennial decisively in the bi-district round. Centennial eliminated the Yellowjackets last year in the regional semifinals, Rockwall’s deepest trip into the playoffs under head coach Shadie Acosta.

Rockwall did not return the veteran experience it had last season but has peaked at the right time, taking a few lumps throughout the regular season to prepare for the challenging grind of the playoffs.

“You’re going to have some rough times in the beginning if you have a young team and you have to build that chemistry,” Acosta said. “I think we decided that we were going to make this work. We’ve had many opportunities this season to touch on those things and how important it is to have that common respect for each other on and off the field and how your work ethic will always pay off.”

Two of the highs in Rockwall’s roller-coaster season were wins over McKinney.

While the second score was lopsided in Rockwall’s favor, McKinney proved it could play with the Yellowjackets in the first matchup, leading 1-0 through the sixth inning before Rockwall mounted a three-run rally.

“They have a great pitcher and a few good players so we know that they’re not going to roll over for us," Acosta said. "They are our district rival and one of the better teams in our district so we’re always excited to face off against them.”

Plano and Plano East destined for playoff duel

Over the past two years, high school football fans have dubbed Allen-Euless Trinity playoff matchups as the biggest must-see games this side of the state championship.

In high school softball, the matchup of that caliber is looming just two rounds away.

Plano and Plano East share a district and placement in the ESPNHS Fab 50, with East coming in highest at No. 11.

Plano East took the season series and in turn claimed the district title over second-place Plano.

Before that matchup can happen, the two Plano schools will have to face their most challenging opponents to date in the regional quarterfinals.

Plano East will face the third-place finisher from its district, Flower Mound, in the regional quarterfinals this weekend.

In an interesting twist, Flower Mound handed Plano East its only two district losses of the season.

Plano faces Hebron, which finished fourth in District 8-5A but knocked off District 7-5A champion Keller and 6-5A runner-up Hurst L.D. Bell in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Plano went the distance in its three-game area-round series before dispatching Mansfield Legacy, making nothing certain against a hot Hebron squad.

Bi-district results from the UIL softball playoffs

April, 30, 2012
Here are the results for area teams in the bi-district round of the 2012 UIL softball playoffs. Some matchups were settled in best-of-three series and some in single games.


Region I

Odessa over Arlington Martin (5-11, 9-3, 14-3)

Plano East over Southlake Carroll (9-6, 4-0)

Haltom over South Grand Prairie (11-3, 13-5)

Richland over Midlothian (6-2, 7-0)

Flower Mound over Keller Central (6-5, 6-4)

Midland over Arlington Bowie (4-0, 7-1)

Arlington over Odessa Permian (4-1, 4-3)

Hebrown over Keller (5-0, 6-3)

Hurst L.D. Bell vs. Mansfield

Mansfield Legacy 6, Grapevine 3

Plano over Denton Guyer (2-1, 8-4)

Region II

Richardson Berkner 10, Garland 1

McKinney Boyd 22, Richardson 0

Mesquite over College Station A&M Consolidated (1-4, 2-1,5-4)

Belton over Mesquite Horn (7-8, 9-6, 3-1)

Rowlett 16, Dallas W.T. White 0

Lake Highlands 5, Sachse 4

Bryan over North Mesquite (2-0, 6-0)


Region I

Canyon Randall over Lake Dallas (7-0, 9-6)

Waco Midway over Mansfield Summit (6-2, 13-1)

Trophy Club Byron Nelson over Fort Worth North Side (13-0, 7-1)

Fort Worth Western Hills over Aledo (4-2, 4-3)

Crowley 22, Waco 1

Wolfforth Frenship over The Colony (9-2, 3-1)

Denton Ryan over Canyon (5-0, 6-1)

Burleson over San Angelo Lakeview (15-0, 13-0)

Azle over Fort Worth Southwest (8-3, 3-2)

Birdville 11, Fort Worth South Hills 0

Region II

Dallas Hillcrest 23, Dallas Pinkston 1

McKinney over Carrollton Creekview (0-3, 2-1, 6-2)

Rockwall over Frisco Centennial (14-3, 9-1)

Dallas Seagoville 18, Dallas Conrad 7

Elgin over Red Oak (8-0, 5-0)

Dallas Molina 24, Dallas Bryan Adams 1

Wylie over Frisco (1-0, 17-5)

Frisco Wakeland over McKinney North (11-1, 17-1)

Dallas Woodrow Wilson 15, North Dallas 3

Ennis over Hutto (10-5, 6-2)

Pflugerville Hendrickson over Waxahachie (1-0, 2-6, 8-7)
Two Octobers ago, Greg Smith was introduced to the Dallas Conrad athletics program while serving as a volunteer hot dog griller for the school’s homecoming football game.

The cookout was part of a call to community action from Smith’s pastor at Fellowship Bible Church, and it was that evening Smith began his volunteer work with Conrad.

Smith spent much of his two daughters’ lives sitting on a softball bucket catching bullpen sessions for the two pitchers. He then remained in the game by giving private pitching lessons, so naturally he offered his expertise to the Conrad softball team.

With Smith working with Conrad's pitchers, the Chargers made the UIL softball playoffs for the first time in 2011 and returned this year. They have a bi-district game Friday against Seagoville.

Smith has helped starter Asyia Summers transform from a hard thrower with a tendency to throw one over the backstop to one of the best pitchers in DISD, throwing two no-hitters in her senior season.

“When I first started I couldn’t throw a strike and didn’t know what a strike was,” Summers said. “When Mr. Smith came he taught me all these routines to teach me how to throw pitches. Lately I’ve been throwing strikes.”

Smith dons catcher's shin guards with cargo shorts for Conrad’s practices, taking his position sitting on a bucket off to the side of the diamond with Summers or one of the other pitchers.

Two seasons into Smith's tenure as a volunteer at practice, the pitchers have their form down and even a couple of pitches in their routine. Now, he works on the mental side of the game as well as the mental side of life.

Both Smith and Summers recalled the final half-inning of the second district game against Dallas Woodrow Wilson as a turning point for the Chargers. In its five-year history, Conrad had never beaten Woodrow.

Summers took her place in the circle with Conrad up 9-8 and couldn’t help but tear up, feeling the weight of her team on her shoulders.

“I just wanted to win,” Summers said. “I couldn’t live with us losing this game again.”

Conrad forced a Woodrow runner into a rundown on the third-base line and Summers relied on instinct to cover home plate and tag out the runner for the last out of the game, overcoming her momentary lack of confidence.

“[Smith] always taught us to keep a good attitude on the field and off the field and to just always have fun,” Summers said. “Even when you don’t need it or if you do, he says to just always have fun.”

Fun isn’t just limited to the softball field for these players.

Smith used the help of Lake Highlands Young Life to send Summers and several of her teammates to a week-long camp that Summers called the best week of her life.

In turn, a team with difficulties coming together as a unit has become a family with the help of a man that had no affiliation with Conrad, just a willingness to serve.

“Last year we got this wonderful man who said he could show our girls how to pitch if he could volunteer,” coach Erin Stinnette said. “He’s been able to help the bonding of the team. The demographics of our team are very diverse, but he’s made us one family.”