COLLEYVILLE -- A sure sign of a successful season -- scheduling a playoff series around the post-season banquet.
That’s precisely the pleasant situation the Hebron softball team finds itself.
Wednesday night, Hebron scratched for a run in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Burleson, 1-0, in the opener of a best-of-3 Class 5A Region I semifinal series in Colleyville.
Thursday night is reserved for the team banquet, scheduled months ago, then it is back to Colleyville for Game 2 on Friday.
Pretty eventful stuff for a program in the playoffs for the first time in school history. The Hawks finished only fourth in the six-team District 6-5A.
“We’re peaking at the right time,’’ said Hebron coach Sue Dunn. “There’s a real excitement. I know I can feel it.’’
Hebron (24-11) didn’t need much offense Wednesday because sophomore pitcher Heather Stearns struck out 18 and allowed only one hit, an infield single in the seventh.
Before Hebron batted in the bottom of the seventh, Dunn strolled from the third base coaches box toward home plate, whistled and motioned for Hawks fans to adjust their caps to ‘rally’ mode.
Cecelia Constantino promptly legged out an infield single, Hebron’s only hit off Burleson pitcher Samantha Montes, and Whitney Burt followed with a sacrifice bunt. Constantino came all the way around to score the winning run when the throw went into right field.
“The rally caps got us fired up on Saturday when we were down 1-0 to Flower Mound Marcus, so I thought we’d try it again,’’ Dunn said.
Hebron defeated Marcus, 3-1, in the decisive game of the regional quarterfinal series.
Hebron’s other playoff victims have been Plano West and Keller, which was ranked No. 2 nationally by ESPN RISE when Hebron scored a 1-0 bi-district victory.