A Disappointing End to Perfection


Courtesy of Lake Ridge Softball

Despite a perfect regular season, the top-ranked Lake Ridge Eagles softball team suffered its first loss in the playoffs, which ended their season.

In last year’s trip to the playoffs, the Eagles’ softball team fell just short of becoming the state champions after losing the championship round in a close match against the O’Connor Panthers with a score of 7-6. Ever since then, the team has maintained a perfect, undefeated record throughout this entire season and have proved their case to make a significant run in the playoffs among other schools in the state. However, as the Eagles marched into the second round of this year’s playoffs, the team suffered its first loss since last year’s state championship loss with a score of 2-3 against Royse City. 

Just like last year, the Eagles finished the regular season as the district champions and topped the rankings of the Texas 6A division at number two with a record of 33-0. Last year the Eagles entered the playoffs off of a hot streak then continued their win streak to 15 throughout the playoffs. This time around was no different as they were one of Texas’ best softball teams the entire season. In fact, they were ranked no. 1 in the state of Texas coming into the postseason. Avery Hoang, Sophomore Pitcher, hoped to continue the Eagles’ dominance into the postseason.

“Just keeping the same routine and trying not to change things a lot is something that worked to help us stay undefeated and perfect throughout this entire season. We just needed to do what we’ve been doing all year and not try to overthink everything to stay consistent,” said Hoang.

Last year’s ending was a bitter loss for the Eagles to handle as they were up by two runs with two innings remaining in the state championship game. As a result, the team had a chip on their shoulder from last year’s loss that they carried onto this season, hoping to rewrite last year’s ending and get another chance to redeem that loss. (setup)

Throughout the season, the Eagles played in a few close games that took the entire seven innings. Last Thursday’s game against the Royse City Bulldogs showed that they were not as prepared to play a full down-to-the-wire match as they thought they were. By the third inning, the Eagles were already at a 3-0 deficit and had all the pressure on their side to even out the score. Eventually, in the same inning, the Eagles would cut the deficit to 3-2, but that would not be enough for them to pull through as the game remained scoreless for the next four innings. Hoang believes that keeping a positive and realistic mentality could’ve helped the team not become too overconfident in themselves.

“Being more prepared and mentally tough, such as not overthinking things and getting in my head a lot is something that I need to focus on in order to finish off the playoffs better. If we want to win, then we need to be humble about it and not think that we can’t lose moving forward,” said Hoang.

Despite this loss, the Eagles still had a historic season with a district title and an undefeated regular season record to show for. Their 34-game win streak, highly-powered offensive attack, and superb pitching earned them the top spot in the state rankings as well as the fifth spot in the national rankings upon entering the playoffs. Jordan Householder, Junior First Base, believes that the team’s success would’ve continued if it weren’t for one mistake in their final game.

“I think we just pulled through together as a team even when we were struggling, which allowed us to come out on top. I feel like our biggest strength is really coming together when we’re under pressure. We made one error in last Thursday’s game, and I feel like if we would’ve fixed the error, then we may have ended up on top. It was a line drive ball and it had tipped my glove at first. We were really just trying to come out on top and finish where we would’ve liked to last year by making it back to state,”  said Householder.

Now with the season over, the softball team will look to correct their mistakes and improve for next year’s run to the state championship. As of right now to the rest of the school year, they are focused on enjoying their time together with the seniors and reflecting on the season before getting right back to work for next year.