NORTH MESQUITE SOFTBALL GABRIELLE BRIONES

North Mesquite’s Gabrielle Briones exchanges high-fives with her teammates during the pre-game introduction of the DFW Fast-pitch Association All-Metroplex Game at Nesbitt Community Park in McKinney on Tuesday.

MCKINNEY – Prior to Tuesday, the last time that Lewisville head softball coach Porscha Albert had participated in an all-star game came in 2004 at Duncanville. She was in her senior season at Lewisville, the team that she now coaches, before going on to have a standout collegiate career at Colgate.

After experiencing the opportunity to serve as one of eight head coach in Tuesday’s DFW Fast-pitch Association All-Metroplex Game at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park, Albert took a moment to reflect on how much softball has evolved since her playing days donning the Farmers’ maroon and white jersey.

“All-Star games are a lot of fun,” she said. “Honestly, this is my first all-star game in 18 years. Last time I did this, I played in one. It was really cool to come out here and see how it has changed and evolved. We had a great group of kids. They had a lot of fun.”

This spring, Albert, in her first season as Lewisville head coach, got the opportunity to coach middle infielder Paislie Allen. They helped to lead the Farmers to their first playoff win since 2015. But on Tuesday, they were on opposing teams. Albert joked that her team held Allen in check offensively.

“She didn’t hurt us the way that I thought she would offensively,” Albert joked. “She’s a great kid. I’m glad that we kept her to a base hit.”

Plano’s Isabella Bishop ignited a three-run inning for Lewisville with a single. Frisco Heritage alum Elyse LeClair plated two runs with a single and later eluded the tag at home plate to score on an RBI single by The Colony alum Tamya Waiters.

Waiters and Allen were two of five Lewisville ISD players on the field for that game. Joining Waiters – DFW 5A player of the year – was The Colony teammate Olivia Wick, who played in left field. Hebron pitcher Lucy Crowder, who earned District 6-6A MVP while leading the Lady Hawks to their first district title, tossed a scoreless second. Hebron’s Shorey Nguyen also played for team South Grand Prairie.

In a game that South Grand Prairie rallied for a 6-4 win, Sachse alum and Texas Tech signee Madison McClarity hit a home run in her final at-bat. Nguyen added three hits. Her Mustangs’ teammate, Navaeh Watkins, got the start in center field. Plano West’s Adayah Wallace, a Texas commit, contributed a two-run hit. North Mesquite’s Gabrielle Briones snagged a line drive that took away a hit for Lewisville.

McClarity’s power was on full display in the home-run derby that preceded the games. She hit nine home runs in the second round, advancing her to the semifinals for the second time in the last three years. She was in the final round in 2020.

“It was better than last year because I didn’t get past round one,” said McClarity, who finished her prep career as Sachse’s all-time leader in home runs, RBIs and on-base percentage. “Making it to the semifinals was good. I did not swing at strikes last year. I was swinging at good pitches and got into a good groove.”

Allen alum and Wichita State-signee Sami Hood was also in a good groove. She hit eight home runs in the second round to qualify for the semifinals.

Tuesday’s game was a feather in the cap for what was a historic senior season for Hood. On May 7, in Allen’s area-round playoff game against Irving Nimitz, Hood hit her 20th home run to break the Dallas-area record for most home runs in a single season. She was later named MVP of 5-6A and player of the year by the DFW Fast-pitch Association.

“I just wanted to get on base and help my team to be able to score runs,” she said. “I’m just so honored to be named MVP. It means so much. There are so many amazing girls in DFW. It’s such an honor to pick up that award.”

Hood played for team Burleson Centennial on Tuesday. She was one of two superlative winners in the Star Local Media-area coverage on that field. Marcus’ Faith Drissel, who was named the pitcher of the year after helping lead the Marauders to the regional final for the first time since 2013, initiated a double play that helped Centennial to get out of an inning.

Drissel was joined on the field by Marcus teammates Mikaela Olguin and Tori Edwards. In the opposing dugout were Flower Mound’s Katie Cantrell, Landrie Harris and Logan Halleman, all of whom were on team Mansfield Lake Ridge.

Marcus’ Haidyn Sokoloski, Little Elm’s Georgia Heathcock, Coppell’s Kat Miller and Prosper’s Elizabeth Moffitt, Sydney Lewis were Ayden Allen were winners of a Tracy Beard Scholarship. The award is named after Beard, a retired Dallas firefighter and avid supporter of prep softball who was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.

Prosper’s dynamic trio of Allen, Lewis and Moffitt were on the same field for the final time in their high-school careers on Tuesday, playing for team Royse City with Lady Eagles teammate Lyndsey Hooker, who was recently named 5-6A newcomer of the year.

The game showcased the softball talent that lies within Prosper ISD. Rock Hill had six players participate in Tuesday’s game: Grace Berlage, Ella Berlage, Kat Luna, Gabrielle Luna, Veronica Cully and Camilla Spriggs.

In just its second season as a program, Rock Hill, which will make the move to 5-6A next year after spending 2020-22 in 10-5A, made the state tournament for the first time. Two weeks later, Blue Hawks head coach Leigh Anne Budd and her assistant coaches partook in one more game with their Rock players.  

“What an experience,” Budd said. “From starting the program two years ago to where we’re at now, a lot of this has to do with the kids, because we were successful of what they did. It was because of that we got to experience something like this. This is a lot of fun.”

Not all Rock Hill players were on the same team. It was sister vs. sister for two pairs of siblings. Grace Berlage and Kat Luna played for team Rock Hill, while Ella Berlage and Gabriella Luna were on team Royse City.

“There is always a little jawing back and forth, and just having fun,” Budd said. “That’s what these all-star Games is about. It’s not about who wins or loses. I had my two seniors and they were playing against their two sisters, which is fun.”

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson. Email Devin with sports story suggestions at dhasson@starlocalmedia.com.

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