Carry a Big Stick: Lady Broncos advance with dominant 22-0 win
Zach Markovic / Staff Photo
The McKinney Boyd softball team demolished Richardson on Friday night, 22-0, in a one-game bi-district playoff that equaled the streaking Lady Broncos' – who are now riding a 17-game winning streak – most lopsided win of the season.
Making their second consecutive, and second ever, playoff appearance, the Lady Broncos were dominant from the start. They picked up three runs in the first inning and five in the second before ending things once and for all with a thunderous 15-run third.
The Lady Broncos sent 18 batters to the plate that frame and collected 10 hits, the most impressive of which was a two-run homer freshman third baseman McKenna Henry sent screaming into the scoreboard.
“She will be doing that quite often for the rest of her years at McKinney Boyd,” said Maureen Fritz, Boyd head coach. “I've been waiting for that all season. She's a great hitter.”
Along with Henry's two-run home run, the Lady Broncos also got RBI triples from freshman Carly Nicklas, sophomore Maddy VonHagel, freshman Riley Wagner and sophomore Jill Nicklas. Every batter got two trips to the plate in the inning, and VonHagel made the most of hers by driving in three runs on two hits.
After getting the first out in the first at-bat of the frame, Richardson didn't manage another until 14 batters later. By then, the Lady Eagles were down, 20-0, and bracing for the three-inning run-rule to kick in and end their season.
The Lady Broncos were relentless on the base paths to go along with their onslaught at the plate. They took advantage of Richardson – a poor defensive team that struggled to make routine plays or identify where the ball needed to go when fielding – by picking up extra bases at every opportunity.
“Offensively, that was all them,” Fritz said. “I gave it to them and they did all that on their own. I just directed them and they just had a good time. They've got base-running down.”
Wagner, who worked three complete innings from the circle for Boyd, struck out three batters in the bottom of the third to speed up the process. She struck out 5-of-10 batters faced in her limited time pitching to help send the Lady Broncos to an area-round matchup against the winner of Mesquite-A&M Consolidated (results not available at press time).
“Next round is going to be some good competition, which will be fun,” Fritz said, adding that she would be looking for a best-of-3 series. “Whoever we play, Mesquite or A&M, it will be fun and good competition.”
Fritz expects the winner of that series to give her team the best competition it's seen in a while. The Lady Broncos entered the playoffs as a No. 1 seed courtesy of an undefeated run through District 10-5A that netted them the first district championship in program history.
Boyd's dominant start to the playoffs was reminiscent of its first-ever playoff appearance in 2011, where they swept Skyline in a best-of-3 series on 14-0 and 12-0 wins. But they were unable to continue that success and lost to Belton, 5-4, in a one-game playoff in the area round.
This year, the Lady Broncos have their sights set on a deeper run.
“They're cruising and, again, just playing consistently,” Fritz said.