Panthers drop district opener to the Chaparrals

By Griff Servati
For the Van Alstyne Leader
Tom Fowler makes a throw from the outfield.

    The Panthers opened up district play on Friday night, March 19, at home vs. the Aubrey Chaparrals. The Chaparrals got on the scoreboard in the first inning and would not give up a lead throughout the game despite the Panthers staying close. 

Aaron Beckham watches the ball as he advances to second base.

    The Chaparrals scored two runs early, and that would be all of the scorings until the fourth inning. They would add another run in the top of the fourth inning before the Panthers would get on the board with two scores in the bottom of the inning. The Panther scoring started with a single by Aaron Beckham. A Matthew Crawford pop fly moved Beckham to scoring position where a single by Riley Dancer would bring Beckham home. Wesley Holbert would score for the Panthers after an errant pick-off attempt, bringing the score to 3-2. 

    In the fourth, the Panthers would get on the board after a Dakota Howard would get on base with a single. Matthew Crawford would bring the RBI when he singled to center, scoring Howard. The Chaparrals would still hold a 4-3 lead after they scored in the top of the inning. 

Riley Dancer lines up to make contact with the ball for a single and an RBI.
Aaron Beckham scores on a single by Riley Dancer in the loss to Aubrey.

    Aubrey would add two more runs in the top of the seventh inning after a pop fly to center-field would score two runners. The Panthers would only get one run in the final half-inning off. The Panthers loaded the bases with Aaron Beckham's hit, a walk by Matthew Crawford, and Collin Reynolds's hit. The Panther's only score would come after a Wesley Holbert walk. Aubrey would pick up the 6-4 win. 

    The Panthers will continue district play with a 7 p.m. matchup in Anna on March 23 and a 5 p.m. home game with Melissa on Friday. 

Weston Holbrook celebrates with teammates after scoring.

Panther softball loses late to Aubrey

The Lady Panthers hosted the Lady Chaparrals for a district matchup on Friday night, March 19. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Lady Panthers in the final inning of the game giving up five runs in the last inning to hand them their first district loss. 

    The Panthers and Chaparrals started the game with each scoring three runs in the first inning. Kylie Allen put the Lady Panthers on the board when she doubled early in the count and resulted in two runners scoring on the play. 

    In the third inning, the Panthers took a 5-4 lead on hits, with Callie Hunter getting hit from a pitch advancing a run home with the bases loaded.  Sydney Sullivan would step to the plate scoring two more runners with a hit to right field. 

    The Panthers would add to the lead in the fourth inning. Leading off the inning was a home-run by Kelsie Adams. Kylie Allen would again get a double on a fly ball to center field, scoring two for the home team, stretching the lead to 8-5. 

    In the game's final inning, the Lady Panthers had two errors combined with Aubrey connecting with the ball resulted in a five-run outburst for the Lady Chaparrals. The Lady Panthers could not get a run across the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, leaving two runners in scoring position. 

    The Lady Panthers will resume district play on Tuesday, March 23, when they play at 7 pm in Anna and return home for a 5 pm matchup with Melissa on Friday, March 26.