Texoma Christian has been to three straight TAPPS state softball tournaments with five trips in the previous seven seasons.
But the Lady Eagles have a young roster and inexperience to overcome if it is going to live up to those types of lofty goals.
“Due to seniors graduating and girls that left, I have somebody different in every position from last year. A lot of them were courtesy runners or bench players last season,” TCS head coach Ashley Chaffin said. “They have to react in different ways and make plays they’re not used to in those spots.”
And with the season just getting underway this week, and only playing one game before starting district action, the Lady Eagles were given a rough welcome to the TAPPS Division IV District 2 portion of their schedule with a 20-4 loss in three innings against Ovilla Christian at TCS.
Cana Miller doubled and drove in two while Jenna Fortenberry reached base twice for Texoma Christian (0-2, 0-1), which is off until hosting Dallas First Baptist on March 17.
“We’ll get better. We only had eight or nine practices and then it was time for games,” Chaffin said. “The attitude coming into the season was very positive.”
Madisen Parks was 2-for-2 with a triple, walked twice, drove in two and scored four times, Taylor Sauceda singled and walked twice, drove in two and scored three times and Abby Howell tripled, reached base four times, drove in three and scored three times for Ovilla Christian (2-1, 2-0).
Ovilla Christian only had five hits against Paige Miller, including three from the game’s first three batters, but took advantage of 10 walks, seven hit by pitches and a pair of errors.
“We need to make better adjustments on the mound,” Chaffin said. “She’s just a sophomore. She’s just got to get some more experience.”
Texoma Christian was down by five after the first inning and 13 by the middle of the second before Ovilla Christian enacted the run rule in the third.
The Lady Eagles scored all their runs with two outs in the second. Fortenberry led off with a walk and Kylee Ryeczyk was hit by a pitch. After a pair of strikeouts, Abby Murphy walked to load the bases before Cana Miller’s two-run double to right center.
An error on the next play allowed Shelbi Hayes to reach and both runners scored as Miller came around from second to make it 13-4 when Ovilla Christian left home plate uncovered.
The only other base runners for Texoma Christian were Hayes’ one-out single to right center in the first and Fortenberry led off the third by reaching on an error.
Ovilla Christian took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first as the first five batters reached and scored. Parks led off with a triple and came home on Sauceda’s infield single, then Howell followed with an RBI triple.
An error made it 3-0 and then the next two runs scored on two-out wild pitches.
Ovilla Christian sent 14 batters to the plate in the second as it built a 13-0 margin. The first run scored on a passed ball and the next was on a fielder’s choice where everybody was safe. It was 8-0 on a wild pitch and Marlee Hopkins’ groundout to first brought in another run.
After Ovilla Christian reloaded the bases, the final runs came on a walk, an error that would have ended the inning and a pair of hit by pitches.
The run-rule was back in play after Ovilla Christian scored seven times in the third. It loaded the bases with one out before Parks’ RBI single to left. Runs then scored on a walk and a hit by pitch. Parks got caught in a rundown but was able to score for a 17-4 advantage and then two more hit batters forced in a run and Sabrina Benoist drove in the final run on a groundout.