Valdez celebrates strikeout

Alvin catcher Victoria Valdez celebrates a called third strike call by the home plate umpire during game one of the Lady Yellowjackets' best of three bi-district with Clear Creek Thursday in League City. Alvin went on to collect 13-3 and 6-1 victories to sweep the series.

(Photo by Michael Edmonds)

David McCorkle admitted he wasn’t too pleased that his Alvin Lady Yellowjackets wasted a no-out, runners at first and second base opportunity to open their best-of-three Class 6A Bi-District Softball Playoff series with Clear Creek last weekend.

However, the Lady Jackets also wasted little time answering their head coach’s initial frustration, planting a decisive seven spot on the Lady Wildcats during their next at-bat.

Alvin ultimately rode the above onslaught to 13-3 and 6-1 victories and a series sweep in what was the first playoff appearance for both programs in the last two years. The 2020 campaign was wiped out by the covid pandemic.

Allie Armstrong delivered a strong performance in the circle with a three-hitter in the opener in League City on Thursday, while Kanoe Cleland followed with a no-hit masterpiece in the second game at Alvin’s Lady Yellowjacket Field, Friday night.

The Lady Jackets (26-4) now advance to meet Dobie in the area playoff round this weekend and early next week at Clear Lake High School. The opener will be played May 7 at 6:30 p.m., while the second game will be played May 8 at 6:30 p.m. A third game, if necessary, will be played May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

“We challenged our pitchers to get better and it looks like they reached their peak,” said McCorkle following the second game here Friday. “If we continue to pitch well and grind away offensively, then we got a chance.

“We bounced back and played great after that first inning (on Thursday).”

Junior Isabelle Farmer, who also played a pivotal role in the game two triumph, ignited the Lady Jackets’ seven-run outburst in the second inning of Thursday’s opener,  in which Alvin sent 11 batters to the plate.

Farmer smacked a lead-off double to center field and came around later to score on Khori Bolton’s sacrifice fly to left for a 1-0 Lady Jackets’ lead. Jordyn Frederic followed three batters later with an RBI single and after a dropped pop fly in the Creek infield allowed another Alvin tally to cross the plate, Roni Harrison drilled a two-run single to center to make it 5-0.

Farmer also brought home Reagan Jones in the frame with an infield hit to short and Harrison dashed home on a wild pitch by Lady Wildcats’ hurler Bela Rodriguez with Alvin’s seventh run.

The Lady Jackets continued to add to their cushion with Chloe Foster’s sacrifice fly in the third and Shelby Stone’s two-run single in the fourth.

In Friday’s second game here, the Lady Wildcats took advantage of an Alvin error to score the game’s first run in the third. Farmer provided the go-ahead blow during the frame’s bottom half, though, as the junior smashed a bases-clearing double to center to plate Foster, Jones and Harrison to give Alvin the upper hand for good at 3-1.

“I just remember that I had errors and I was going to step up to the plate and show what I had in me and make up for it,” Farmer said.

Harrison’s lead-off single in the fifth was followed by a Farmer RBI triple and a run-scoring single by Bolton to make it 5-1 in the fifth and Harrison’s double plated another insurance AHS tally in the sixth.

Cleland then completed the no-hitter in the seventh by catching Lilly Longoria looking at a called third strike and then retiring Kelsey Bunch and JJ Schmaltz on consecutive grounders to Farmer at third base.

In other area softball playoff action, the Manvel Lady Mavericks and Shadow Creek Lady Sharks both suffered season ending sweeps in their best of three bi-district series.

The Lady Mavs dropped 6-1 and 9-0 decisions to No. 2 state-ranked Barbers Hill, while the Lady Sharks were eliminated by Brazoswood by 1-0 and 10-0 scores.

Hill broke open a tight 1-0 contest with Manvel in the teams’ April 29 series opener in Mont Belvieu with a five-run fifth. Haley Ratcliff’s seventh inning RBI for the Lady Mavs ended a 25-game consecutive shutout string by Lady Eagles’ pitchers.

The Lady Mavs close their season at 16-12.

Leila Heredia took the hard luck in the circle for the Lady Sharks (10-9) in their first game with Brazoswood April 29 in Pearland, allowing only a first inning tally.

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