PLANO – A hard-fought battle by the Lady Eagles was no match for Forney’s high-powered offense in this week’s opening round of the Regional Tournament. The number one 5A school in the state knocked Prosper from the playoffs in a two-game series on May 11-12.
“We knew Forney was a good team, but I told (the girls) we are also a good team,” Prosper head softball coach Staci Jackson said. “When two good teams meet up you have to be at your best in all phases of the game.”
Prosper 2, Forney 5
The first game on May 11 was a close match for the Lady Eagles, who had a strong showing in the opening innings of the game on Thursday evening. Junior Avery Colclaster started off the scoring after a freshman Julia Bumford fielder’s choice to give them the early lead, but Forney was quick to fire back in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead over Prosper. The team rallied back in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 2 when Colclaster’s sacrifice fly ball sent sophomore Nora Burns running home. Despite Prosper’s best efforts, Forney recaptured the lead in the bottom of the fifth following two costly Prosper errors. Junior Bailey Zornes’ double ignited a last-chance comeback for the Lady Eagles, but was short-lived as she was tagged out at second later in the inning. Zornes and Burns had the only hits of the night for the Lady Eagles.
Pitcher Rachel Eckrote got the loss, but was phenomenal in the circle, giving up just two earned hits on the night. She also added nine strikeouts and one walk to her stats.
Prosper 6, Forney 14
The second game for the Lady Eagles took place on Friday and proved to be a testament to the high-caliber Lady Jackrabbits’ number one ranking status. Although the Prosper offense came alive in game two of the series, a lacking defensive presence allowed Forney to slip away with the win. They scored a combined seven runs in the first two innings, creating a dilemma for the Lady Eagles to overcome. The third inning stirred up quite the excitement, however, as Prosper’s senior Brooklyn Reiff helped to cut the deficit to two after scoring on Avery Coclaster’s big single in the bottom of the third. Colclaster would add a run of her own when senior Natalie Filiatrault hit a single to centerfield.
In perhaps the biggest play of the game, Prosper found the bases loaded and in need of some runs. Senior Miranda Ortega answered the call, stepping up to the plate and blasting a deep ball into left field to clear the bases and get her team back in the game at 7-5.
Forney responded with a run in the fourth, but Prosper was adamant about staying in close contention. Senior Abby Smith’s double in the bottom of the fourth saw Coclaster across the plate again to lessen the lead to 8-6.
The Lady Jackrabbits were the ultimate victors in the contest however, adding six more runs in the seventh to end the game at 14-6.
Coclaster was brilliant in the contest, batting 2-for-3 at the plate and contributing 2 runs and an RBI in the effort. Miranda Ortega went 1-for-3 at bat, and her third inning triple produced 3 RBI’s.
Rachel Eckrote was solid again at pitcher, giving up three runs and a walk, and striking out four batters in the defeat.
Losses aside, Jackson remains proud of the accomplishments the girls conquered this season.
“I could not be more proud of this team for all their hard work and determination to represent the town of Prosper,” she said.
The end of the season also means the end of an era for the class of 2017 players. The program will lose five seniors, including Natalie Filiatrault, Miranda Ortega, Abby Smith, Sam Frommer and Brooklyn Reiff.
Jackson said the seniors have made a lasting impact on both the program and the remaining girls.
“Losing our five seniors is very difficult due to their leadership skills, but they left a legacy and expect it to be upheld and pushed beyond by the underclassmen in the future,” Jackson said. “Moving into next year, I expect for the softball program to grow and compete at a higher level.”