The Class 5A Region II softball quarterfinals had a very local flair, with four Frisco ISD teams squaring off against one another.
When the dust settled, it is Heritage and Lone Star who are moving on to the representing the school district in the regional semifinals.
The Coyotes and Wakeland staged one of the tightest series in the area, with Heritage able to rally from an opening loss to win the next two and advance to the fourth round for the first time in program history.
The battle of the 9-5A and 10-5A champions certainly lived up to the billing, especially on the mound, where the two teams combined for only seven runs in three games.
Given the low-scoring nature of the series, one swing could alter the course and that proved to be the case in the finale on Saturday, as Ahna Vanmeter belted a two-run home run in the top of the first inning and Jensin Hall made sure that would stand up until the end as the Coyotes earned a 2-0 victory at Independence High School.
Wakeland’s Allison Pich went 3-for-3 at the plate, but a single to Lauren McIllwain was the only other hit that Hall would allow.
In the opener on Thursday, the Wolverines struck for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for a 2-1 victory to take the series lead.
Kate Piskor struck out nine in a complete-game effort, but Wakeland trailed by a run heading into its final at-bat.
But the Wolverines rallied, as Kaylee Kinney, who was 3-for-3, scored a run as did Mia Sanchez, with Riley Langford and Claire Schreiner providing the RBIs.
With its backs against the wall on Friday, Heritage responded with a 2-0 victory. Hall hurled a shutout on the mound and the offense was able to do just enough to push across single runs in the first and fifth innings and that momentum carried over into the deciding game the following day, as well.
Heritage will meet 13-5A champion Melissa in the fourth round in a one-game affair scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at McKinney Boyd.
The Coyotes are joined in the regional semifinals by Lone Star, which is making its deepest playoff run in a decade after posting a sweep of Reedy.
The Rangers took the series lead on Thursday with a 3-0 victory.
Audrey Richardson went the distance, striking out one and scattering seven hits, and she helped her own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
Emilee Prochaska doubled and drove in a run and Brooke Wooten and Emma Zaboronek also scored.
The second game was not as tight, as after trailing by two early on, Lone Star exploded for six runs in the fourth inning, added four in the fifth and tacked on two more in the sixth to complete the 12-2 run-rule victory.
Richardson went 5.2 innings, striking out four. Kirstyn Jones had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, two runs scored and seven RBIs. Zaboronek homered and drove in three and Ava Feragotti, Prochaska and Serenity Smith each scored a pair of runs.
The Rangers move on to take face Dayton, the fourth seed out of 16-5A, as they knocked off district champion Huntsville in the regional quarterfinals.
That best-of-3 series, with will take place at Waco Midway High School, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The second game is slated for 11 a.m. Friday, with the third game, if necessary, set for 5 p.m. Friday.
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