Katy halted the Alvin Lady Yellowjackets’ banner season with 4-1 and 7-4 victories to sweep the best-of-three Class 6A Region Softball Semifinal Series May 15-16.
Alvin closes its season at 33- 7, while Katy advances to face Deer Park in the Region III Finals later this week. The Lady Jackets were making their deepest postseason run under head coach David McCorkle since 2016, when they also fell to the Lady Tigers in the region semifinals.
Alyssa LeBlanc fired a one-hitter to lead the Lady Tigers to the series opening victory on May 15 in Katy. Alvin jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Mindy Matthews drew a lead-off walk and Shae Montemayor got plunked by a LeBlanc pitch to put the first two runners on, while Clarissa Barron bunted Matthews and Montemayor over into scoring position.
Matthews then came home on Coffelt’s grounder, which was mishandled by Katy’s third baseman.
However, the Lady Tigers took the upper hand at 2-1 during the frame’s bottom half on an Alvin miscue and then extended their lead to 3-1 in the fourth on Chloe Cobb’s solo home run over the center field fence.
After Katy added their fourth tally on another Lady Jacket error in the fifth, Barron led off the Alvin sixth by drilling a shot to the left-center gap. However, the senior shortstop was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double. LaBlanc then retired the side in order in the seventh to give the Lady Tigers the 1-0 series lead.
Lady Jackets’ junior hurler Jodie Aguirre took the hard luck defeat in the circle, allowing only one earned run, two hits and four walks, while striking out eight. Mary Pourico had the lone Alvin hit off LeBlanc.
Alvin claimed the early advantage again in game two at Lady Jacket Field on May 16, but also missed a golden opportunity to deliver further damage off Cobb, who was Katy’s game two starter in the circle.
Matthews led off with another walk in the bottom of the first, while Montemayor singled to left field and Barron reached on an error by the Katy outfield to load the bases.
Grace Coffelt followed with a sharp single up the middle to score Matthews, but Cobb then came back to fan Pourcio and after coaxing a fielder’s choice grounder to second by Victoria Valdez (where Montemayor was a force out at home), the right-hander retired Chloe Foster on a roller just outside the circle.
While Alvin (who stranded 10 runners overall) later put more tallies on the board, not cashing in on the early chance would prove costly the rest of the way.
The teams combined to trade the lead during the next three at-bats. Olivia McFadden and Chloe Woodard smacked RBI doubles for a 2-1 Katy advantage in the second, while Coffelt drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Khori Bolton and Pourcio belted a single to center to score both Evany Gonzalez and Montemayor to regain the upper hand for Alvin at 4-2 during the frame’s bottom half.
Consecutive bunt hits by Tori Whillock and Kailey Wyckoff sparked another Lady Tiger rally to start the third, though, as Cobb followed with a shot to the left field wall. The Katy senior ultimately ended up circling the bases with a three-run inside-the-park homer to give the Lady Tigers the lead for good at 5-4.
After Katy added two insurance tallies in the top of the fourth on RBI’s by Wyckoff and Cait Calland, LeBlanc took over in the circle and worked around one-out singles by Montemayor and Foster in the fourth and fifth frames, respectively, and errors by her teammates in the sixth and seventh innings to close out the series.
Montemayor went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Alvin offensively, while Coffelt and Pourcio drove in two runs apiece. Valdez also delivered a pair of sparkling defensive plays in the fifth. The freshman catcher dove headfirst to snag a foul pop fly off Erynn Castillo’s bat and later grabbed another bunt attempt from Wyckoff and fired to Pourcio at the third base bag to double off Amy Hitt for an inning-ending double play.
Season highlights for Alvin included winning the 24-6A Championship with a perfect 12-0 mark and posting playoff series sweeps over Brazoswood, Pasadena Memorial and Dobie.
Aguirre broke both school records for victories (33) and strikeouts (346). The Lady Jacket junior led both the nation and state in wins entering the Katy series, while also ranking at least among the top five nation and state hurlers in K’s, as well.
Alvin was coming off 6-5 and 9-1 region quarterfinal series wins over Dobie on May 6 and May 10.
The Lady Jackets trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning of the opener in Manvel. However, Barron delivered a bases-loaded triple to tie it and then scored the game-winner on Coffelt’s grounder.
The Lady Jackets then cruised to victory in game two at Bryan ISD’s Mumford Field behind Aguirre’s four-hitter in the circle and three hits apiece by Matthews, Barron and Valdez.