PINEVILLE, La – The New Braunfels Softball All-Stars saw their season end Monday night in a 18-1 loss to Waco in an elimination game at the Senior League Southwestern Regional Tournament at Louisiana College’s Wildcat Park.
The Texas East champion Tornadoes managed only three hits in the contest against the Texas West champs, which advanced to play New Mexico, an 8-5 victory over Mississippi, in another elimination game Tuesday.
That winner would have to twice defeat unbeaten New Orleans Eastbank or host Vidalia, La. to win the tournament, featuring girls ages 13-15, and advance to the Senior League World Series July 29-Aug. 4 in Sussex County, Delaware.
“Waco had a stacked team and you could see the experience come out in the girls they have,” said Lilly Scott, head coach, said Tuesday. “Their pitching was beautiful, which is what softball is all about.
“They definitely had talent, which is what we’ll need to pick up on to improve next year. They definitely opened our eyes.”
On Monday, Waco plated two runs in the first inning, added four in the second and seven in the third for a 13-0 advantage. NB starter Kaitlin Fedde surrendered six earned runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings, with reliever Brianna Farias giving up eight earned runs on 11 hits in 2 1/3 innings. New Braunfels committed two errors that led to four unearned runs.
Laci Silva and Emily Caddell had the only two hits for the locals, with Silva’s hit plating Fedde for New Braunfels’ lone run in the bottom of the third. Waco added five more in the top of the fourth before retiring the Tornadoes in the bottom have to secure the run-rule victory.
New Braunfels, which played 10 games in the postseason, had never before reached a national regional, where they lost to Eastbank 7-4 on Saturday and thrashed Colorado 17-2 on Sunday.
“We did better than I ever expected,” Scott said. “We’re going to get better from this point on and return stronger than ever.”
Scott said the team will lose only two players this offseason and should be strong enough to make another deep run next season.
“We’re only losing two due to age eligibility,” she said. “We’re already coming up with some ideas for next year, adding the juniors who will become seniors — it’s really motivated us as coaches to also step up our game and make us better for next year.”