State championship run comes to an end for TWHS softball team
AUSTIN, Texas — The Woodlands Lady Highlanders (26-8) closed out their season with a 3-2 extra inning loss to Katy in the state semifinals on Friday afternoon at the University of Texas's McCombs Field. After losing in the state finals last year, the Lady Highlanders made a repeat trip to Austin for the state tournament.
The Katy Lady Tigers (35-6) were the first to score in the bottom of the third inning. The designated player, Ashley Nassy, reached first on a fielder’s choice and after a stolen base, she scored on a throwing error by The Woodlands starting pitcher Abby Langkamp. The ball was a slow roller that Langkamp charged but threw over the head of first baseman, Shelby Dublin. This allowed Nassy to come around to score. Unfortunately, that run could have been avoided by the Lady Highlanders because a good throw would have resulted in the third out of the inning.
The score would remain 1-0, Katy, until the top of the 5th inning. The first batter of the inning, Shelby Dublin, smashed a line drive to left center. With a lot of hustle, she was able to leg out a double. After the next two batters were retired, the top of the line up came through. Aubrey Leach hit the first pitch she saw up the middle. This would score Dublin from second to tie up the game, 1-1.
In the top of the next inning, the Lady Highlanders would take the lead on an interference call on the Katy third baseman. Kaitlyn Stavinoha, who reached on a single, was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelcy Leach. The interference occurred when Stavinoha, tagging up on a sacrifice fly by Abby Langkamp, was attempting to advance to third base. Lady Tiger third baseman, Kayla Garcia, and Stavinoha collided as the throw was being made. The third base umpire ruled that Garcia did not yet have a play on the ball and should have given Stavinoha an opportunity to get to the base. This interference call allowed Stavinoha to advance to home, giving The Woodlands the lead, 2-1.
The controversial call fueled the Lady Tiger come back in the bottom of the 6th. Lead off batter, Katie Clark, would reach first on another throwing error by Lady Highlander pitcher, Langkamp. A sacrifice bunt by Bailee Shashack would advance Clark to second, and a single by Katy’s starting pitcher, Kourtney Covenery, would allow Clark to score. The 2-2 score would hold throughout the regulation 7 innings, sending the game into extras.
The Lady Highlanders would get nothing across in the top of the 8th, which would bring up the 9-1-2 hitters in the Katy lineup in the bottom of the inning. The nine hole hitter flied out to the left fielder for the first out, but the lead off hitter, Clark, would reach on a single to center field. After getting a ground ball out for out 2, The Woodlands head coach, Richard Jorgensen, pulled his starting pitcher, Abby Langkamp, for her younger sister, Emily. The only batter Emily would face was Katy pitcher, Covenery. After drawing a full count, Covenery perfectly placed a grounder past the second baseman, scoring Katie Clark from second.
Starting pitcher Abby Langkamp, who has signed to play with Baylor University next year, threw 7.2 innings, striking out five in her last game as a Lady Highlander. Coach Jorgensen was very pleased with his starter’s game, “She’s phenomenal. She pitched great.”
The Lady Tiger starter, Covenery, who threw a complete game with two strikeouts, was also very successful at the plate. She went 2-4 with 2 RBI, including the game winner.
“Hats off to them. They’re a good team.” Coach Jorgensen complimented Katy after the game. “You hate to see anyone lose a game like that. The team that makes the fewest mistakes is probably the one that’s going to win.”
Katy will play Lewisville in the 6A final on Saturday, June 6th, at 4:00 PM. Lewisville advanced to the final after defeating San Benito 3-2.
This was The Woodlands’s third trip to the state tournament in the past five years. So we will be looking forward to another great season next year.