ALVARADO — Crystal O’Brien didn’t have much to say, but she didn’t have to say much.
The emotion was in her eyes and streaming down her face.
The three-year Gatesville softball coach wasn’t crying because her Hornets lost both sides of Friday night’s doubleheader, 6-0 and 9-3, she was crying because she had coached her last game with the team.
“I’m stepping down to be a mommy,” O’Brien said. “I feel so emotional because I love these girls and this team, and I can’t believe I won’t be coaching it anymore.”
It wasn’t the way she’d like to remember her last playoff appearance with the Hornets.
Junior Kylee Trahan struck out 14 Hornets, allowing no runs on four hits as No. 7 Burkburnett (26-5-1) took Game 1 of the area playoff doubleheader, 6-0, Friday.
Trahan was locked in from the start.
“We couldn’t do anything with her fastball,” O’Brien said. “We only managed some weak pop ups, and that won’t get the job done when you play a team like this.”
Trahan got Ashley Cook looking for the first out of the game and proceeded to dominate for the rest of the afternoon.
She struck out at least two batters in every inning. The only Lady Hornets (20-16) chance came in the fourth inning on a sharply hit ball to shortstop off the bat of Blayne McGhee.
“They had a really good team, and to come out and play the way we did is huge,” Burkburnett coach Allen Hennan said.
A team known for its power, Gatesville only managed three base runners — two of whom reached second on stolen bases. But the Hornets never managed to make consistent contact and didn’t take advantage.
Not that it mattered — Trahan was just better.
Gatesville sophomore ace Evan Edmiston pitched well enough that some poor defense made the score much wider than the game played.
Two second-inning Gatesville errors proved costly as they helped push the score to 2-0 in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.
The two runs were all Trahan needed.
The second game was much closer. In the bottom of third trailing 2-0, the Hornets pushed three runs across the plate. They played small ball, scoring three runs on four hits, including three bunts.
But in the next inning, Paige Daino hit her 15th homer to tie the game at 3. Then Burkburnett reeled off six consecutive runs to put the second game out of reach.
“You never want to lose, but we had a heck of a year and these girls played hard.” O’Brien said.