By making a commitment to improve as a team after getting bounced by Frisco Wakeland in the bi-district round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season, the McKinney North softball team is currently on pace to bring home its first district title since 2016.
Behind a talented and balanced roster that has consistently gotten good pitching, big hits and solid defense, the Lady Bulldogs have steamrolled through the first round of District 10-5A action undefeated. With the second round of district on the horizon, North is simply focused on playing the consistent brand of softball it has played all season long, which has played a big role in the team’s current seven-game winning streak.
“Anybody who sees us should be nervous because we can hit anywhere in our order one through nine and we play consistent defense and won’t beat ourselves,” said Olivia Guin, North head coach. “I set up a hard non-district schedule of the toughest of the tough to get us ready for this district and playing those tough teams and getting better has been the foundation to our great start in district.”
Besides trying to win the program’s first district title since 2016, North has a little extra motivation in that Guin will be exiting the program due to her upcoming wedding.
North’s explosive offense has been a huge problem for the entire district, averaging 6.3 runs per game while batting a robust .322 through six games. On a roster full of hot big bats, junior shortstop Cierra Faubion might be the hottest on the team –batting .438 with two home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs scored in district action.
“We’ve been good before, but this year we are all gelling together, and it is showing in our batting and how we are being consistent in or fielding on defense,” Faubion said. “We want to win district really bad, especially since it will be coach Guin’s last season, but in the big picture, we are taking things one day at a time because this season is all about getting better and making a deep run in the playoffs.”
Look no further than Tuesday’s extra-inning win over Sherman. Despite struggling at the plate most of the night, North received a walk-off home run from sophomore Caroline Leos – batting eighth in the order – to win the game, 2-0.
Having consistent, big moments like the one Leos authored, all while playing with its confidence at an all-time high, might play a huge role into North advancing past the bi-district round of the playoff for the first time since 2008 if the Lady Bulldogs have things their way.
“Winning district would be special to me since we won it my freshman year, but it would be extra special to go undefeated, which is what everyone in the program is striving for,” said Hannah Cain, North senior. “It’s a really big deal for this team to not just win district but to make some noise in the playoffs. We always talk about dying our hair if we were to win in the playoffs, and I’m very motivated and focused on being the squad from this program to break the cycle of being one and done in the playoffs.”