This year’s Crosstown Showdown between the McKinney and McKinney Boyd softball teams hasn’t lacked for drama.
The first meeting between the two rivals, played on March 26, culminated in a seventh-inning comeback by the Lionettes. Three weeks later, the Lady Broncos returned the favor.
Boyd snapped a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth inning behind an RBI single from Erika Thurman to score the winning run in an eventual 2-1 victory. The Lady Broncos’ win, coupled with a loss by Little Elm against Denton Guyer, assured a return to the postseason for Boyd.
The Lady Broncos improved to 5-6 in District 5-6A play and didn’t lack for motivation after suffering a 4-3 loss to McKinney last month. Boyd held a 3-1 lead through six innings in that meeting before the Lionettes scored three runs in the top of the seventh to spur the comeback.
Both teams came out swinging to begin Tuesday’s rematch. The Lady Broncos struck first after Gia Gall doubled into center field on just the game’s second at-bat. She crossed home moments later on an RBI single from Savanna Luther.
McKinney’s response didn’t take long. Payton James reached first base on a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored following an RBI double from Caydance Gaddis to draw the Lionettes even at 1-1.
That score held firm until the top of the eighth inning, although the bats for both Luther and Gaddis didn’t cool off in between. Gaddis belted another double in the bottom of the sixth inning and Luther went 4-for-4 on the night. Both accounted for two-thirds of their team’s hit totals for the night.
The Lady Broncos managed six hits off Gaddis, who pitched eight innings of two-run ball and struck out seven batters. Boyd’s Kinsey Kackley was her usual dominant self in the circle, limiting McKinney to just three hits and fanning a whopping 20 batters — her third district ballgame with at least 20 strikeouts this season.
It’s been enough to will the Lady Broncos back to the playoffs with Boyd winning three of its past five games after a 2-4 start to district play. They’ll draw 6-6A champion Flower Mound, ranked No. 1 in the Class 6A area poll by DFWFastpitch, in the bi-district round at a time and place to be determined.
North falls to The Colony
The McKinney North softball team had a tough time slowing a potent The Colony offense on Tuesday, dropping a 12-1 run-rule decision to fall to 1-12 in District 10-5A play.
It was a six-run second inning that proved to be the difference. The Colony’s Payton Blanco drew a bases-loaded walk to drive for the first run. The Lady Cougars’ next batter, Sydney Young, delivered the big blow – a three-run singled that increased The Colony’s lead to 4-0. A dropped fly ball in left field by North allowed two more runs to cross the plate for the Lady Cougars.
Young was just as clutch on the mound.
On a night in which both pitching staffs had to contend with chilly temperatures as well as a brisk wind, North had several opportunities to score runs off the right-hander. The Lady Bulldogs drew back-to-back walks to start the game, but Young induced three straight fly-outs to end the top of the first. Then, in the visitor’s half of the second inning, a strikeout by Young stranded two more North base runners.
Young allowed just one run on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in four innings. Kaitlyn Moeller, also a sophomore, came in on relief in the fifth and retired the side in order. North’s only run of the game came when freshman Hayllee Lavallee scored on a double steal.
-David Wolman contributed to this story