IRVING – Two games into its playoff history, Highland Park already has the look of a postseason veteran.
The Lady Scots easily dispatched Irving 6-0 on Friday to sweep their Class 6A Region II bi-district series. HP advances to meet unbeaten Rockwall next week in the area round.
After using 16 hits to earn a 10-5 victory in the series opener on Thursday, the Lady Scots weren’t as consistent offensively in Game 2. But pitcher Katie Bell took care of the rest, posting a shutout despite facing the same hitters in a two-day span.
Meanwhile, HP wasn’t affected by the same butterflies that might have contributed to an early deficit against the Lady Tigers in Game 1.
“They came in [Thursday] and they were nervous. [On Friday], they came in confident. There were no nerves,” said HP head coach Meredith Townsend. “It’s a big accomplishment. They’re a seasoned group.”
The Lady Scots took control early on Friday with two runs in the top of the first inning. One scored on a Kate Hodges single, and the other on a sacrifice fly by Amanda Reenan. HP didn’t pad its lead until the sixth, when Sunny Bowden hammered a two-run double to the wall, and Grayson Rutherford followed with a single. Bowden and Rutherford were the bottom two hitters in the order.
Bell took care of the rest, never getting into serious trouble while the HP defense was stellar behind her. Afterward, the Lady Scots could be excused for their lengthy celebration after making history.
“These kids work hard,” Townsend said. “We’re finally seeing the fruits of our labor.”