The Lake Dallas softball team is bound for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The Lady Falcons will play a doubleheader at Aledo on Friday in the bi-district round of the Class 5A playoffs. The first game in a best-of-three series will start at 10 a.m. with the second game to follow at 1 p.m. A third game, if necessary, will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lake Dallas.
Aledo (19-4) enters the series ranked No. 1 in the latest DFWFastpitch Class 5A poll and the Ladycats have qualified for the postseason in all six years of head coach Heather Mayes' tenure.
Lake Dallas got to this point by winning seven district games – excluding Friday’s regular-season finale against Richland.
Coming into this season, the Lady Falcons hadn’t won a game in district play since 2018. But, head coach Amber Britton said the camaraderie of this year’s team helped the Lady Falcons to end that drought.
“They genuinely care about each other and enjoy spending time together playing softball,” she said. “They show up early before practice and stay late after practice each day usually just hanging out with one another.
“They love the game and they love each other. In addition, my staff has the same love for the game from being ex-players and we genuinely enjoy each other's company. This has made our season so enjoyable on and off the field.”
One of the main cogs in the lineup for Lake Dallas this season has been junior catcher Shelby Nelson.
Nelson clubbed her 10th home run of the season Tuesday in a 7-6 loss for the Lady Falcons to Richland.
Lake Dallas took a 2-0 lead into the top of the third.
Gracie Dover clubbed a double to pad the lead to three runs. Gracie Bredeson followed with an RBI single up the middle for a 4-0 Lady Falcon advantage.
Nelson’s home run – a two-run blast – gave Lake Dallas a 6-0 advantage in the top of the fourth inning. She and Katherine Poppe each had three hits. Nine different Lady Falcons finished with at least one base hit. Lake Dallas totaled 14 hits.
Richland got on the board in the home half of the fourth with an RBI single and an RBI ground-out.
Lake Dallas held a 6-2 lead until the sixth inning. The Lady Falcon pitching staff retired the first two Royal batters of the frame. But, with two outs, Richland got to work. The Royals accumulated five straight hits, including the go-ahead, two-run home run.