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Season shows winning spirit

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PALMER – Palmer Lady Softball has made history again this year by winning the 15-AA District Championship by beating out Ellis County rival, Maypearl Panthers.

This follows last year’s history making efforts by making it two rounds deep into the playoffs only to be stopped by the 08 Semi-finalist S&S Consolidated.

To start off the season, the Lady Bulldogs of Palmer won two of the three tournaments they entered. One being the Annual 4-A Red Oak Tournament and second was the Ellis County Umpires Tournament where they were placed into the 4-A bracket.

Palmer’s record on the season is 25-3-3 and in district play 9-1.

The Lady Bulldogs hit district play in full stride with 3 big wins in a row: 15-0 vs. Rio Vista, 17-2 vs. Life and 14-2 vs. Grandview. They hit a small speed bump with a 6-4 loss to Maypearl, but never looked back winning the next 6-6 district games.

Palmer has been hard at work since clinching the 15-AA Championship with a big win vs. Godley 9-1 on April 24, getting ready for the third part of their season, “The playoffs.”

The Lady Bulldogs were eager to play their warm up game vs. Centerville only to be stopped in their tracks by the UIL unprecedented halt in play because of the Swine Flu scare.

The Lady Bulldogs were back in action on May 7 at 6 p.m. at Palmer vs. Centerville for their warm up game.

Despite great defense the lady bulldogs could only come up with a tie in a 9 inning game.

Palmer was eagerly waiting to see who their opponent would be in the Area Round. Scurry Rosser edged out Caddo Mills in a one game playoff.

The Lady Bulldogs had a history with Scurry Rosser as they were in the same district last year. Palmer squared off with Scurry Rosser in a best of 3 series with the first game being played at Crandall High School with Palmer winning game one 6-4.

Game two of the series was held at Ennis High School, with Palmer walking away with the Area Championship with a score of 7-3.

Regional Quarter Finals would bring an even bigger test as Palmer Lady Bulldogs were slated to play the #2 team in Texas AA, Quitman.

This was a mandatory one game playoff. The two teams squared off in Wills Point on May 18.

Quitman tried to flex their #2 ranking several times throughout the game but the Lady Bulldogs of Palmer fought right back. At the end of the night Palmer proved that rank meant nothing in a 1 game night as they beat Quitman 4-3 to become the Regional Quarter Final Champions.

Regional Semi-Finals would prove to be the toughest test of the year. Palmer would face yet another top ranked team this time being Brock.

The games were played out at Legacy High School in Mansfield. Brock got on the board first in the top of the first inning with one run.

Palmer would score in the third with an in the park home run by Brook Ray, but unfortunately, that would be the only Palmer run of the series.

Despite big hearts and lots of effort and a never give up attitude the Palmer Lady Bulldogs fell short of a trip to Austin, as they would lose the series in two games.

As unfortunate as the losses were, the Lady Bulldogs of Palmer have much to be proud: First time ever District Champs, Area Round Champs, Regional Quarter Final Champs, and Regional Semi Finalist with a season record of 28-5-3.

Many players were voted on by the other coaches of the 15-AA District to be placed on the All District Teams and they are as follows: MVP of the year Courtney Harris, defensive player of the year Sammie McDonald, 1st team 2nd baseman Krystal Wooldridge, 1st Team Utility player of the year Ariel Kemp, 1st Team Outfielder Brook Ray, 2nd team 1B Taylor Prestidge, 2nd team outfielder Amanda Mejia, and Honorable Mentions: Valerie Wells, Emily Silberstein, Ariel Mejorado, Delaney Wolfe.

“This has been a great year for the girls. They are a special group. They set their goals and work hard to achieve them,” said Coach Hampel head softball coach.

“They set a goal at the first of the year to win the 15-AA District Championship and then did what it took to get it,” he said.

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