Softball breaks school records in playoffs


Erin O’Shea

Junior Alyssa Forrester gets in position before hitting a home run in the first playoff game against Port-Neches Grove.

Erin O'Shea, Staff Reporter

As the sun beat down on the players at K-Park Softball’s final game of the season on Thursday, April 20, the crowd watched as the ladies run-ruled Robert E. Lee 23-0 in the third inning. The very next day, the Lady Panthers pulled out another win, 5-4 against Splendora, in their final district game of the season, putting them in third in district.

“Before this game, everybody was ready for a win, because this game would decide us a guaranteed spot in the playoffs,” Senior Madeleine Hart said. “If we had lost we would have had to play on Saturday against Splendora and Dayton to see who got third and fourth.”

Luckily, in their final game, they managed to get a double play in the bottom of the seventh and keep Splendora from scoring again. With a runner on third base, senior Nikki Whitehead caught a line drive and threw out the girl who was on third, stopping Splendora from scoring and tieing the game.

“Splendora was probably the biggest game because it sealed us getting into the playoffs,” Whitehead said. “This is now our fourth year of going to playoffs.”

However, their season was not an easy ride. Softball played against teams they knew would be tough like Crosby and Barbers Hill and pulled out a 20-9 record for the season. The first game against Crosby at their place was one of the favorites among the team as they scored 9 runs in the first inning, winning 9-6.

Throughout the season, before each game, the team would focus on how the opposing team pitches, defense, and what their tendencies are. If the pitcher is especially good at fastballs, they focus on hitting those. If the batters are good at bunting, they focus on playing defense for that. They used this to prepare for their first playoff game against Port-Neches Grove. This is the fourth year in a row they have gone to playoffs.

The Lady Panthers play a three-game series against PNG to see who moves on to the second round.

“Before the game started, everyone in the dugout was super pumped and focused,” Hart said. “While we were playing, our only focus was playing the game as best we could. But we know that we need to bring the same power and intensity.”

The first game, played at home, ended with a 5-1 victory for K-Park, with Junior Alyssa Forrester hitting a home run, and MacKenzie Purcell hitting a triple to bring two girls to home plate. Then on Friday night at PNG, the Lady Panthers went to three games, winning the last one 4-2 and advancing to the second round, which is against Santa Fe.

“Winning made me feel relieved, but I knew that we needed to be ready and focused the next day to secure our spot in the third round,” Junior Lauren Singletary said, regarding the first game of the series. “I’m looking for a great game and I hope we come out relaxed and aggressive.”

K-Park softball played against Santa Fe on May 5 and May 6, winning two of the three games and advancing to the third round, for the second year in a row. The lady Panthers won the first game against the Indians 5-1, lost the second 3-5, and finished the series strong winning the third game 11-4. The third round will be played against Crosby High School, their rivals during district play.

The Lady Panthers pulled out another win over the weekend of May 12, beating Crosby and making school history and advancing to the regional tournament.

Though they are soon to be losing six seniors, K-Park softball is looking forward to next year and making it even better than this one. There will be new team members coming as old are leaving and they are excited to see what the new season holds.