WACO — The 2018 softball season came to an end for the Ellison Lady Eagles on Friday night after they lost 13-0 in five innings on the road at District 8-6A co-leader Midway.
The win clinched a share of the league title for Midway. The 23rd-ranked Pantherettes and No. 20 Belton finished 13-1 in 8-6A play. The two teams are scheduled to play in Lorena this morning for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
The Lady Eagles (0-14 8-6A) have a young squad and are only losing one senior (Vivica Edwards) and hope to build on the experience gained this season next year.
“Our girls learned that every day you have to come out and compete with the best teams in Texas.” said Ellison head coach Brian Cotton “You know we take for granted sometimes playing in our own little bubble that outside of Killeen there is some real ball being played and we have to learn to compete in those areas.”
The Lady Eagles had an excellent start to the game when KD Trimble hit a leadoff single. Andrea Lopez advanced Trimble to second base with a sacrifice bunt, and Trimble then stole third.
But Trimble was eventually tagged out to end the side after she was caught in a rundown between third base and home plate.
Midway was able to get one run across the plate in the bottom of the first to take the lead, but sound defensive play by Ellison ended the inning.
“I think it shows we’re growing. After starting the season with a group of freshmen and sophomores and throwing them into varsity competition, you know it’s going to be a struggle,” Cotton said. “They’ve grown over the season and they learned how to fight and compete and that’s the biggest thing we can take into next season.”
Bailey Bark got Ellison’s second and final hit of the night on a single to short center in the second inning, but she was left stranded.
The Midway bats came alive in the bottom of the inning and the Pantherettes were able to build a 5-0 lead entering the third inning.
Things took a turn for the worse in the fourth as Midway tacked on seven more runs, including a three-run homer over the left-field wall.
The game ended on the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth inning, but the Ellison squad never stopped having fun and playing for pride and one another.
Ellison senior Edwards enjoyed the journey. Edwards is originally from the Virgin Islands, but moved to Killeen after a hurricane forced her family to move.
Edwards is technically a junior, but her academic resume has allowed her to graduate this year.
“It was a great experience and I actually learned a lot,” she explained.
“I got to play against some very competitive teams and I enjoyed that.”