Lady Tigers open playoffs at home with Graham

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Glen Rose shortstop Kaycee Bock, seen here in action earlier in the year against Stephenville, led the Lady Tigers in hitting with a .528 batting average.

GLEN ROSE — The Glen Rose Lady Tiger softball team was poised to make a deep playoff push last year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit early in the 2020 season.

On Thursday, the Lady Tigers open the 2021 playoffs, and they will be looking to make up for lost time and accomplish what they originally had planned to do a year ago.

“The girls are really excited to finish what they’ve started this year,” Glen Rose softball coach Kiel Miller said. “Six of them were on that team from last year and it left a bitter taste in their mouth. They are excited to be in the position we thought we should have been in last year. They’ve been focused on being district champs and making a long run in the playoffs.”

The Lady Tigers (19-5-, 7-1), the District 6-4A champion, will meet Graham at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Glen Rose for Game 1 of a three-game series.

The Lady Blues are the No. 4 team from District 5-4A.

“Graham is coming out of a pretty good district. Even though they are the fourth-place team, they’ve played tough teams, and that can only make you better as a team,” Miller said. “Like I told the girls, this series is not about what Graham has or Graham does, it’s about us. If we play like we are capable we will be in a position to win the series.”

The Lady Tigers closed out the regular season last Friday with a 12-2 home win over Gatesville.

“We are in a good spot right now with winning the district,” Miller said. “We had that hiccup at Lampasas and came back to work with a new attitude and played well against Gatesville to finish district. We are getting better each day in practice, and that’s all a coach can ask for.”

Addison Nance and Catalina Sanchez drove in three runs each, while Kaycee Bock added a double and a triple in the lopsided win over the Lady Hornets. Taylor McKenzie twirled a complete-game three-hitter and fanned 10 in earning the win.

Now, the Lady Tigers are looking to carry the momentum of the win into this week’s first round of the playoffs.

“If we want to make a big run in the playoffs, we are going to have to execute at a high level in every phase of the game, pitching, defense and offense,” Miller said. “We can’t get lackadaisical or overlook any opponent.”

The Lady Tigers hit .387 as a team in eight district games with Bock leading the way with a .621 average. She had 18 hits and 13 were four extra bases (11 doubles, a triple and a homer) and she drove in a team-best 14 runs.

Nance hit .474 with three doubles, a triple and a homer while driving in 13, and McKenzie hit .417.

For the year, Bock hit .528 with 18 doubles, two triples and two homers with 31 RBIs, while Felicity Austin hit .434 with seven doubles, a homer and 18 RBIs.

In the circle, McKenzie went 11-2 with a 0.90 ERA with 152 strikeouts and 37 walks. Nance finished 8-3 with a 3.07 ERA with 59 strikeouts and just 17 walks.

Glen Rose Stats

• Batting Average: Kaycee Bock .528; Felicity Austin .434; Mallory Goff .431; Taylor McKenzie .422; Addison Nance .360.

• Hits: Kaycee Bock 38; Taylor McKenzie 27; Felicity Austin 23; Mallory Goff 22; Addison Nance 18

• Doubles: Kaycee Bock 18; Felicity Austin 7; Taylor McKenzie 7; Addison Nance 5; Mallory Goff 4

• Triples: Taylor McKenzie 4; Kaycee Bock 2; Hannah Carr 2; Addison Nance 2

• Homers: Kaycee Bock 2; Catalina Sanchez 2; Addison Nance 2

• Runs Batted In: Kaycee Bock 31; Addison Nance 24; Catalina Sanchez 20; Felicity Austin 18; Taylor McKenzie 17; Alli Austin 15; Mallory Goff 15.