MANVEL - A late comeback for Shadow Creek fell just short in the Class 5A Area Softball playoffs Friday night.
Santa Fe jumped to an early six-run cushion and held off a late charge by the Lady Sharks in a 7-3 victory at Manvel High School. The game originally started on Thursday, but after a pair of lightning delays, play was suspended in the bottom of the second inning and resumed Friday afternoon.
The loss closes the Lady Sharks’ first ever playoff season at an impressive 21-10, while the Lady Indians advance to face No. 1 state ranked Angleton in the regional quarterfinals later this week.
Juliana Garcia initially put Santa Fe on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning, while Rylie Bouvier’s infield hit to second later plated Garcia for a 2-0 Lady Indians’ lead.
Maggie Childs then added a sacrifice fly in the third for Santa Fe’s third run and the Lady Indians appeared to put the game away on Ryleigh Mata’s bases-loaded triple in the fourth to make it 6-0.
However, Shadow Creek promptly cut the margin in half in the fifth. Jillian Gutierrez and Grace Atchison sandwiched singles between a walk to SC pitcher Zara Bennett, paving the way for Celeste Luna’s bases-clearing double to left field. Luna then moved to third on Ahmeera Bennett’s single to right field, but Santa Fe hurler Madyson Blake retired the next two hitters to escape any further damage.
The Lady Sharks also left the bases loaded in the second, before the lightning halted play for a second time.
Santa Fe added an insurance tally in the sixth and Blake retired the side in order in the seventh to close it out.
Shadow Creek, who entered the playoffs as the fourth seed from 24-5A, had opened the playoffs with a 21-2 bi-district triumph over Houston Austin in their first ever postseason contest on April 25 in Houston.
Bennett led the way with a two-hitter in the circle, while also providing four hits and five RBI’s on the offensive side. Gutierrez also had a big game with four hits and three RBI’s and Marisa Martinez added two RBI’s and Aniyah Burns proved two hits, as well.