Rowlett has not missed the softball playoffs since 2005. In most of those seasons, the Eagles had a postseason berth long secured at this point in the year.
But this journey has been a little rockier than in years’ past.
Rowlett endured some ups and downs that put that streak in jeopardy, but it did control its own destiny heading into the 9-6A finale.
In a microcosm of the season, the Eagles were in some trouble, but they pulled it together when they needed most to rally for a 23-9 victory over Naaman Forest on Saturday.
Rowlett (8-6) wraps up the fourth seed to extend its run of playoff appearances to 16 in a row. The Eagles will play the top seed out of 10-6A, which will be either Rockwall or Rockwall-Heath, as those two teams shared the district title and are scheduled to determine seeding with a game on Monday in Royse City.
Sarabe Andrade came on in relief and allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings and also went 2-for-4 with a pair of triples, four runs scored and four RBIs at the plate, while Charley Wilson was 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and three runs batted in.
Things did not look good for Rowlett early on, as Naaman Forest (4-10) took advantage of some miscues to race to a 7-1 lead at the end of one inning.
The Eagles did not panic and started to chip away from there.
Rowlett scored four times in the second, two more in the third and a RBI single by Haleigh Aldridge in the fourth gave them a 9-8 lead.
The Eagles poured it on in the later innings.
Wilson belted a two-run home run to get things going in the fifth, Kelsi Dotts doubled and scored on a base hit by Macatee Jenna, Riley Smith doubled home a run and Andrade added a RBI triple to make it 16-8.
Rowlett followed with another seven-run frame in the sixth, as Lydia Cortinas, Smith and Wilson had run-scoring base hits and Andrade added a two-run triple to put the run rule into effect.
Sachse (13-1) had a share of the 9-6A championship on its mind and it did not have to take the field to secure it as South Garland was forced to forfeit.
Wylie (13-1) took care of its business in a three-inning 15-0 win over Garland. Aubrie Gunther struck out four and did not allow a hit, Sydney Murphy was 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, three runs and five RBIs and Averie Gunther and Jordyn Merrett each plated three runs.
The co-champions opted for a coin flip, which Wylie won to claim the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. The teams will have to wait to know their future opponent, as Horn and Tyler Legacy tied for third place in 10-6A, and were scheduled to meet in a seeding game on Monday in Eustace.
Lakeview (7-7) entered the weekend with a chance to force a tie for fourth place should Rowlett slip up and the Patriots did their part with a 22-5 win over North Garland.
Macye Keating struck out seven and allowed only one earned run in four innings helped her own cause by going 1-for-2 with a triple, four runs scored and three driven in.
Avery Gonzalez was 4-for-4 with a home run, three runs and four runs batted in, Randi Mahan had four RBIs and Gabriella Padilla and Nadia Garza each drove in three runs.
The bi-district round of the playoffs is set to get going later this week.