The Austin Bulldogs beat Cinco Ranch 8-0 last Friday at Austin High School to complete a sweep of their first-round playoff match and claim the Bi-District Championship.
“The win was long coming. I am very fortunate to have such a fun team to be around. They work very hard and I am just glad they get the opportunity to play in the next round,” Austin coach Terry Reyna said.
Angelina Leal scattered six hits over seven innings but kept the Cougars off the scoreboard.
“Angelina trusted her defense, and I can’t stress that enough. Our defense takes the pressure off our pitchers, so they don’t think they have to strike everyone out,” Reyna said.
Cinco Ranch threatened in the third inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Caitlyn Bonjonia slammed a hard ground ball off Austin third baseman Morgan Westbrook that shortstop Jessalyn Shipley picked up and fired to first base for the third out, saving two runs. That was the last scoring opportunity for the Cougars as Leal retired the last seven batters to end the game.
Shipley had five assists and two putouts for the game.
“Wow, I didn’t know I had that many assists,” Shipley said. “We just try to stay on top of things on the field. We try to keep our pitchers up. We know that they will struggle once in a while and we just have to back them up when it matters. We work on our defense a lot in practice as we believe it is a key part of our game. We take pride in our defense.”
The Bulldogs scored one run in the first inning, two in the second, and one in the fourth before blowing the game open in the sixth with four runs.
Lead-off batter Sydney Carter had two hits and three runs-batted-in to lead Austin.
“It was exciting. I just like to get our team off to a good start,” Carter said. “But our defense has been very good the last few games.”
Tiana McFarland had two hits and two runs-batted-in, and Leal scored two runs.
Austin will play Spring Branch Memorial in the second round.
In other playoff action, Ridge Point won their series against Mayde Creek and will play Cypress Creek.
Katy beat Travis to end the Tigers’ season and Thompkins beat Kempner to end their season.