Pitching and defense carried the Ridge Point softball team to its first Region III-4A quarterfinal championship May 10, as the Lady Panthers swept Santa Fe 2-1 and 1-0.
The Lady Panthers will face Little Cypress-Mauriceville in the regional semifinals for a three-game series, while the Ridge Point baseball team continues its longest postseason run against District 22-4A rival Tomball in the regional quarterfinals.
Ridge Point’s softball team received a complete-game two-hitter from Amber Grove in the series opener. Cortni Emanuel provided the Lady Panthers’ first run in the third inning, scoring Bri Nunn.
Ridge Point won in the bottom of the seventh as LeeAnn Thompson, Sydni Emanuel and Kendall Burton singled in succession to open the frame and end the game.
Kate Patel pitched a shutout in the second game, striking out four and scattering eight hits without a walk. Santa Fe loaded the bases twice in the first inning but lost two runners on the basepaths, the last thrown out at home by Burton.
Sydni Emanuel led the Lady Panthers offensively, with an RBI double in addition to a walk and two stolen bases. Emily Keithley and Cortni Emanuel had the only other hits in game two. Santa Fe had two singles in the seventh inning but could not push across the tying run.
The Panthers swept their area playoff series against Santa Fe, 1-0 and 7-6 in eight innings. Cade Killingsworth was excellent in game one, allowing five hits while striking out six in a shutout.
Tyler Caldwell drove in the game’s only run after T.J. Alexander singled and J.B. Aguirre stole second as a courtesy runner.
Will Vest was among the offensive leaders in game two, with J.T. Jakubik turning in a solid start and helping Ridge Point lead much of the contest until Santa Fe rallied.
The Panthers face District 22-4A champion Tomball next. The Cougars bring a 29-2 record into the regional quarterfinal series, but their only district loss was 4-0 against Ridge Point.