180217-KISD Tourney

Gatesville's Jaycee Bragewitz slides into home on Feb. 17 during the Killeen ISD Tournament at Harker Heights Community Park.

Gatesville makes its return to the softball postseason Thursday at 6:30 p.m. as the Hornets host Fairfield at Hornet Stadium for the first game of the Class 4A playoffs.

Game 2 of the series is set for Friday in Fairfield at 4:30 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be Saturday morning at 10 at Waco ISD Field.

At the start of the season, the Hornets had a specific set of goals: Win 20-plus games, have winning records in all three of their tournament appearances and play past the regular season.

Gatesville has checked off each of those goals to date. The Hornets have an overall 21-13 record going into the playoffs.

In tournament play they went 3-1 at the Killeen ISD Invitational, 4-2 at the Gatesville High School Invitational and 4-1 in the Whitney Invitational.

“This team has accomplished several of our athletic goals,” said Hornets’ second-year coach Jaime Villarrial, according to the Gatesville softball website. “Our continued goal is to do some serious damage in the playoffs and win some hardware.”

In order to make a deep playoff run, Gatesville will first have to face District 18-4A champion Fairfield (18-9-1).

The Lady Eagles have regularly made state playoff appearances and are advancing to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season.

The Hornets finished fourth in District 17-4A but are confident their season has helped them get ready for their first playoff appearance since 2015.

“We always try to put together a competitive schedule and we have one of the toughest districts in the state,” Villarrial added. “The hope is that our pre-district and district schedule has prepared us for the postseason.”

The winner of the Gatesville-Fairfield series will advance to the area round next week to take on the winner of the Liberty Hill-Giddings series.

GATESVILLE VS. FAIRFIELD

Best of 3

  • Game 1: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Gatesville
  • Game 2: 4:30 p.m. Friday at Fairfield
  • Game 3 (if necessary): 10 a.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Field

fcardenas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7562

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