Texas signee Sophia Simpson hurls Barbers Hill to Class 5A crown
Texas signee Sophia Simpson fired 14 strikeouts in a complete game as Barbers Hill won its first state softball championship with a 4-1 over Aledo in the Class 5A title game Saturday at McCombs Field on the University of Texas campus.
Coach Aaron Fuller of Barbers Hill (41-2), who led Hays to back-to-back state appearances in 2013 and 2014, said the win testified to a large senior class that also had the team poised for a long playoff run in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic shit down last season.
“This team was on a mission all year," he said. "We have eight seniors and had a great season going last year before it got shutdown. From the start of this season, the team and the community felt our team was on a mission to win state."
Simpson threw 125 pitchers with 84 of them strikes while showing precision and control painted the inside of the plate. Simpson ends the season with a 21-0 pitching record.
“As the game went on, she seemed to throw harder; she had a great game,” Fuller said. "Aledo is a really good hitting team, and we played a number of really strong teams in playoffs as well as during the season, so the girls were up to the task. We lost a couple of games early, and that really seemed to sharpen our focus."
Faith Guidry and Estela Garza had two hits each for Barbers Hill while Guider, Garza, and Samantha Landry each had an RBI.
Barbers Hill scored twice in the bottom of the first as Delaney Dunham was hit by a pitch and Kaylee Hornberger followed with a double that sent Dunham to third base. Estella Garza singled home Dunham, and Hornberger scored when the throw into the infielder was off target
Aledo (29-8), which eliminated Georgetown Friday in a semifinal, scored once in the bottom of the fifth but could have had more. Macy Graf reached first on an error and stole second base. Reagan Davis lashed a single to left field that scored Graf and moved up on the throw home before advancing to third on a passed ball, but Simpson struck out the next two hitters and got a pop back to her to leave the Eagles clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Up one, Barbers Hill went to work offensively when Landry walked and was bunted to second by Katelyn Cooper. Landry scored when Guidry lined a base hit to left field, and Guidry crossed home plate on a blast to the wall by Kaitlynn Dunn.