Sports > Schools
Repeat quest denied: Henderson bounces Celina from state contention
Entering the playoffs as the defending Class 3A state champs, the Lady Bobcats showed no signs of slowing down.
Celina earned a two-game sweep over Farmersville (18-0, 8-0) in the area round before ousting Sanger (12-7, 6-0) in similar fashion during the regional quarterfinals.
However, Henderson had other ideas during the regional semifinals and earned a pair of two-run victories over the Lady Bobcats to end Celina’s quest at a repeat.
“Sometimes things are meant to be and sometimes they aren’t,” said Billy Coleman, Celina head coach.
In Game 1 of the best-of-3 set, it was Henderson coming out on top for a 6-4 victory to grab command of the series.
“We just didn’t get the hits we needed,” Coleman said. “It’s part of the game of softball sometimes.”
Game 2 then played out in similar fashion, with the Lady Bobcats dropping a 7-5 contest to end their season.
“In both games Henderson had one big inning and scored off some miscues we had on defense,” Coleman said.
Junior starting pitcher Shayna Moore went the distance in each game and earned a pair of tough losses on the mound.
“These kids are competitors and they want to win,” Coleman said. “So it stings from that standpoint.”
Coleman said although the playoff exit still hurts, he is pleased with the year his team had.
“I’m disappointed we aren’t still playing,” he said. “But I’m not disappointed at our season at all. How can I be mad when we were one of the final 16 teams still standing?”
For the six seniors on the team (Shelby Carter, Katelyn Drummond, Paige Mongillo, Taylor Norris, Claudia Cantu and Lindsie Knowles), the two losses spell the end of a successful run in the orange and white.
In four years, the six seniors never lost a district game en route to a 36-0 record and last weekend’s loss to Henderson in the regional semifinals marked the earliest the team had ever been knocked out of the playoffs.
“They accomplished a lot in their four-year careers,” Coleman said. “That’s what tradition is all about though and that’s what winning is about.”
With Drummond missing a majority of the season with a knee injury, Moore gained valuable experience though that should pay off during her senior season.
“We have a lot of younger players coming up,” Coleman said. “And we still have a great group of kids returning. We should be fine.”
Although the Lady Bobcats won’t have the title of defending champions when they hit the diamond next season, Coleman said there will still be teams gunning for a win against Celina.
“We were used to that already,” he said. “Everyone loves beating Celina no matter what sport it is. So that never really changed.”
Finishing with a 22-12 mark on the season and 8-0 against 10-3A counterparts, the Lady Bobcats will now regroup after losing five starters from this year’s team.
“This group will definitely hold a special place in my heart,” Coleman said. “Hopefully we’ll be ready to make another run at it next year though.”