CROSBY — Add another smash to Reicher’s greatest hits collection.
Reicher snagged an early lead and turned in one of its best hitting performances of the season in rolling over The Woodlands Christian, 10-2, in the TAPPS Division III state softball championship game on Thursday afternoon.
It’s the fifth state championship in program history for Reicher, which also won in 1988, 2010, 2014 and 2017.
It’s also been a mission all year for the Lady Cougars, who lost in last year’s state final.
“The girls really wanted this, after being runner-up last year,” said second-year head coach Cheryl Urbanovsky. “At practice we broke out every day with, ‘State!’ That was our main goal since Day One.”
Reicher (17-6) effectively stuffed the trophy into its travel bags early by putting up four runs in the first two innings. The Lady Cougars scored three in the first inning, on an RBI single from Maddy Gonzales and a two-run error by The Woodlands Christian.
They capitalized on another TWC error an inning later, stretching the gap to 4-0.
Bri Hapenny’s RBI single in the fourth increased the Reicher lead to 5-0. The Warriors came back to break up the shutout in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of a Reicher error, but the Lady Cougars’ still had another outburst at the plate left in their tanks.
After TWC scored in the fifth to cut the gap to 5-2, Reicher put the championship on ice with a five-run sixth. Cadi Dawkins tagged an RBI double, Hapenny delivered a run-scoring single, and Hannah Boettcher banged a two-run double for good measure. Reicher also tacked on one more on yet another error from TWC.
“It definitely was one of our better hitting games,” Urbanovsky said. “We usually put the ball in play pretty well, get good contact. But it just all seemed to come together today.”
That lead was more than enough run support for Reicher pitcher McKayla Young, who limited TWC to only five hits and one earned run. She struck out three on her way to the complete-game victory.
Hapenny and Emmie Hack both banged three hits each to top Reicher at the plate, with Hack ripping two of the Lady Cougars’ five doubles. Boettecher went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Young retired the side in order in the seventh to close the game. On the final hitter, she induced a pop-up, which Gonzales settled under at second base to seal the victory and start the celebration.
“I think for a couple of them it’s still soaking in,” Urbanovsky said. “It’s just really great to see how everything we worked for came together.”