Coming into the final night of the regular season for softball teams in District 5-6A, the top three finishers had already been decided.

Prosper went on an undefeated run in district play to capture the conference title. Denton Guyer locked up the No. 2 seed with Tuesday’s road win over Little Elm. Allen finished in third place in the district standings.

The only scenario that needed to be decided was which team would finish in fourth place. That was what Little Elm and McKinney played for Friday night. The winner would lock up the last postseason spot in 5-6A, while the loser of the game saw its season come to an end.

For the Lady Lobos, their season will continue for at least one more week.

Junior Krysten Moran hit the go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, and Little Elm held on to earn a 2-1 win.

The Lady Lobos will meet 6-6A champion Hebron in a best-of-three bi-district playoff series next week. This playoff appearance comes one year after Little Elm finished with a 4-16 record. The Lady Hawks defeated Lewisville, 3-1, also on Friday, to earn the 6-6A title.

Little Elm struck first in Friday’s road game at McKinney. Senior Georgia Heathcock led off the top of the fourth inning with a single and later scored on Maria Florentino’s two-out double, and the Lady Lobos took a 1-0 lead.

McKinney tied the score at 1-1 on a one-out RBI single by Payton James in the bottom of the fifth.

James’ hit put runners at first and third bases with one out, but Little Elm freshman pitcher Jadyn Struxness proceeded to slam to the door on McKinney. Although Stuxness yielded a single to the next Lionette batter, Mariah Trevino, Zoe Thornburg was thrown out trying to advance to third base. Struxness then struck out Regan Young to end the inning.

Struxness rebounded very nicely after a tough outing against Guyer earlier in the week, allowing just one run on five hits with six strikeouts. Her counterpart, McKinney’s Caydance Gaddis, was brilliant in defeat. Gaddis struck out 10 and allowed just two runs (one earned).

But Little Elm had the final say. Moran’s single in the top of the seventh put the Lady Lobos on top for good.

Struxness retired McKinney in order in the bottom of the seventh to polish off the complete-game win, and more importantly, clinch a playoff berth for Little Elm.

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