It was the battle everyone expected as the Kingwood Lady Mustangs hosted The Woodlands Lady Highlanders with the District 16-6A softball title on the line. The Woodlands laid claim to the title slipping past the Lady Mustangs 4-2 with a come-from-behind win on Friday night.
The night was filled with missed opportunities for the Lady Mustangs. While Kingwood’s Ashley Johnson was holding The Woodlands in check, the Lady Mustangs missed scoring chances in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings as timely hits eluded them. Kingwood stranded five runners in scoring positions and lost another on a dramatic play at the plate in the sixth. Runs that would come back to haunt them.
“It was a roller coaster of night,” said head coach Lauren Hendrix following the game. “We had our chances but things didn’t work out the way we hoped.”
In the fourth, Hendrix’s squad broke through against the Lady Highlanders starter Abby Langkamp. With two outs, senior Allie Gonzalez singled, advanced to second on Brittney Bryson’s single and scored on Makenna Janis’s rbi single. The Lady Mustangs senior finished the night two for three with an rbi.
The Woodlands answered back in the visitor’s top of the fifth. With one out, Kerry Martinez rocketed a 1-1 pitch into centerfield for a double. Three batters later, Alayis Seneca grounder deep in the hole went for an infield hit scoring Martinez to tie the game.
Kingwood grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the fifth. Lindsay Gregory walked with two outs and scored on a single by Lacy Gregory and a throwing error to give the Lady Mustangs a 2-1 lead.
The roller coaster ride continued in the sixth as Lady Mustangs threatened to put the game away but the Lady Highlanders came up with the play of the night. With one out, Janis ripped a double off the wall in right-centerfield and Allie Gonzalez running all the way was thrown out at the play on a prefect relay from Martinez to shortstop Aubrey Leach whose strike to catcher Kelcy Leach nailed Gonzalez and kept Kingwood off the board.
In the seventh, Kelcy Leach drilled Johnson’s first pitch off the centerfield wall for a leadoff double. A sacrifice and a double from Roma Thornton tied the game at 2-2. Kingwood elected to intentionally walk Aubrey Leach before Seneca ripped a 2-0 pitch into left field for a run scoring double and The Woodlands first lead of the night. The Lady Highlanders added an insurance run on Shelby Dublin’s two out rbi single.
With a 4-2 lead, Emily Langkamp took over for Abby Langkamp in what would be Kingwood’s last at bat. Catcher Alex Colon reached on an error with two outs and advanced to second on a walk to Lindsay Gregory but that’s where it would end as Langkamp retired the final Kingwood batter to preserve the win.
“We played hard and we fought to the very end,” continued Hendrix. “We just did not get the ending we wanted.”
The loss spoiled senior night 2015 celebrations for the Lady Mustangs and left them in a tie for second in District 16-6A. Kingwood (21-6, 9-3) enters the playoffs as the number three seed facing the Spring Lady Lions on Thursday night in Spring. First pitch is slated for 6:30p.m. On Friday, the two teams will meet in Kingwood and the if necessary game three will be played on Saturday at Summer Creek High School.
Written by: Louis Roesch