Despite two different paths to get there, both Strawberry Crest and Durant softball will begin their journey through regionals this week.
Just as baseball began their district tournaments last week, softball’s district tournaments got rolling right alongside them.
Durant opened their tournament against Riverview in the district semifinals, falling to the Sharks for the second time this season by a final score of 3-1. Durant totaled four hits in the contest and their lone run was driven in by junior Emma Chisholm, scoring senior Shelby Allen. Despite the tough loss, the Cougars will still have a shot to redeem themselves in regionals as they head to Newsome to face a 22-3 Wolves team in the quarterfinals. Durant has played Newsome extremely tough in both of their matchups this season — falling just short in both contests by the slimmest of margins — with a 3-2 final on March 11 and a 4-3 final on April 26. Durant will look for their revenge on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Crest opened their district tournament against Wharton, winning by way of a big comeback in extra innings. After opening up the scoring in the first with a 1-0 lead, Wharton posted two runs in both the third and sixth innings to build a 4-1 advantage. But three runs in the seventh and the game-winning run in the eighth clinched a 5-4 victory and a spot in the district championship. Despite just five runs crossing the plate, the Chargers totaled 14 hits and the offense was led by a two-RBI contest from senior Lauren Ray.
In the district finals, Crest scored early and often as they posted runs in five different innings en route to a 10-7 victory over Wiregrass Ranch, led by multi-RBI days from junior Kylee Dodson with two and freshman Kennedy Shea with three.
Per usual, pitcher Ariana Rego threw all 15 innings over the two contests for Crest, striking out 14 hitters while allowing nine earned runs.
Strawberry Crest will host 17-10 Land O’ Lakes in their regional quarterfinal matchup on Thursday at 7 p.m.