The Crawford Lady Pirates continued their push for another state softball title as they shut out the Axtell Lady Longhorns, 6-0, Saturday afternoon at Midway to advance to the Class 2A Region II semifinals.
Pitching came up big for the Lady Pirates as Kenzie Jones turned in another tremendous showing on the mound, striking out seven batters and not allowing Axtell a single run during the entire series.
Crawford won state in 2019 and didn’t have a chance to defend that title in 2020 due to the season being cut short because of COVID-19.
“Kenzie has been there for us all year long,” said Crawford coach Kirk Allen. “She’s gonna be solid out there. We know that she’s gonna give us a chance to win every game. That’s all I can ask from my pitcher.”
Jones was also responsible for getting Crawford on the board to start the game. Lady Pirates centerfielder London Minnix reached base with a single to open up the bottom of the first inning before Jones knocked the run in with a double, giving Crawford a 1-0 lead.
Axtell looked to counter in the top of the second, loading the bases with only one out thanks to hits from Reagan Doyle, Leah Hale and Savannah Porter. Crawford had other plans, though, as Jones struck out back-to-back batters to strand the runners and leave the inning unscathed.
The Lady Pirates’ offense came alive in the bottom of the second. Minnix again got in on the scoring fun, this time with an RBI double. Addi Goldenberg and Grace Powel helped by adding more run support as Crawford closed the inning with a four-run lead.
Crawford scored another two runs via errors in the third inning which would be all the scoring for the day. Crawford held on to the lead, securing the six-run victory and advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
“We are getting to where we are by playing our best ball, that’s what we have to do,” Crawford’s Allen said. “I tell the girls every week is a brand new week, and if you don’t get better someone else will get better and pass you up. Hopefully, we can get in three or four good practices depending on when we play and then we can get after it one more time.”
The Lady Pirates advance to take on the Windthorst Trojanettes in the Class 2A Region II semifinals. Windthorst defeated Rio Vista, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon to advance.