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Five local teams head to softball playoffs

Apr. 24—Herald-Banner Staff Report

Five local teams are headed into the University Interscholastic League state softball playoffs, including the Royse City Lady Bulldogs, who went three rounds last year.

Royse City made the Class 6A playoffs for the second straight season after moving up from 5A and is to face Garland in a best-of-three bi-district series. Game one was planned for Garland on Wednesday night and game two is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Royse City.

Quinlan Ford, which finished second to Canton in District 14-4A, is take on Caddo Mills, the third place team in 13-3A, in a best-of-three playoff series set for Sunnyvale. Game one is scheduled for 5 p;.m. Thursday, with game two to follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Bland, the fourth seed from District 16-2A, is to take on the 15-2A champion Trenton in a best-of-three series set for Bonham. Game one is to start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with game two to start at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Celeste, which was third in 16-2A, is to play 15-2A champion Honey Grove in one game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Prairiland High School in Pattonville.

Royse City went 8-4 in District 10-6A play to tie with Rockwall-Heath for second place. The Lady Bulldogs will represent the district as the second seed and will face Garland, the third seed of District 9-6A in the bi-district playoffs. Garland went 11-5 in district play to finish third behind 16-0 Wylie and 12-4 Rowlett.

Royse City went 27-7-2 in 2023, its first season in Class 6A. The Lady Bulldogs reached the region quarterfinals of the playoffs after whipping Sachse 18-8 in bi-district and upsetting the state's No. 1 ranked team Mansfield Lake Ridge 3-2 at area.

They lost in the region quarterfinals 4-3 and 9-2 to Waco Midway.

They split two district games last week, falling 14-8 to Rockwall-Heath before rebounding to blank Mesquite Horn 10-0.

Royse City pitchers Abby Mangrum and Hannah Richmond blanked Horn on four hits, striking out 11.

Haley Gardella drove in four runs to lead Royse City at the plate. Bri Duffey drove in three runs and Lacey Hicks drove in two.

Ford warmed up for its playoff game against Caddo Mills, falling 12-5 to Edgewood. Preslielyn Barraza, Lillian Barraza and Keely Boyer slugged triples for Ford. Preslielyn Barraza also doubled and drove in three runs, Boyer drove in two runs.

Caddo Mills won its last district game 8-3 over Ferris to wind up 6-4 in district play.

Bland won three of its last four games to finish in a tie with Celeste for third place in 16-2A, beating Wolfe City 16-4, Cumby 9-7 and Ector 5-2. Zoe Wilson led Bland with three hits against Ector and Nichole Maupin drove in two runs.

Celeste also won three of its last four games, beating Bland 12-2, Cumby 8-3 and North Hopkins 8-4.

Celeste warmed up for the playoffs, beating Dodd City 4-2 on Tuesday. Madeline Fronterhouse drove in two runs for Celeste in the seventh with a single. MaddieClaire Park, Sydnee Dickens and Jada Garcia all had two hits for Celeste.

Fronterhouse allowed two hits and two runs in four innings on the mound for Celeste. She struck out six.

University Interscholastic League

State Softball bi-district playoffs

Class 6A — Royse City vs. Garland, Game 1, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Garland; Game 2, 7 p.m. Thursday, Royse City; Game 3 (if necessary) at Forney.

Class 4A — Caddo Mills vs. Quinlan Ford, Game 1, 5 p.m., Thursday, Sunnyvale; Game 2, 30 minutes after game 2; Game 3, if necessay, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sunnyvale.

Class 2A — Bland vs. Trenton, Game 1, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Bonham; Game 2, 6 p.m. Friday, Bonham; Game 3 (if necessary), TBA, Bonham.

Class 2A — Celeste vs. Honey Grove, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Prairiland High School, Pattonville.