Young and thriving, Cy-Fair moves on in postseason
HOUSTON—With 11 underclassmen on its roster, including five freshmen, Cy-Fair’s softball team is flooded with inexperienced, raw talent. But teams would be unwise to underestimate these Bobcats.
Cy-Fair is playing beyond its years as of late. The Bobcats, the No. 3 seed out of District 17-6A, took down Lamar, the No. 2 seed out of 18-6A, in impressive fashion in their Class 6A bi-district playoff Friday, 14-1, in five innings at Mayde Creek High School.
The Bobcats are peaking at the right time. They have won five of their last six games, with a run differential of plus-56. (72 to 16).
“We’ve got good energy,” coach Marissa Stevens said. “The girls really believe in each other. They have a lot of confidence in what each individual player can do. When we unite that, as a unit, it just works.”
Cy-Fair (16-11-1) was explosive against Lamar (13-9) from the start, scoring four runs in the first inning, buoyed by a two-run double from sophomore Alexis Moreno. The Bobcats scored 10 more runs over the fourth and fifth innings.
Freshman Paige Elrod had an RBI double. Freshman Isabella Rios had a two-run double. Senior Lily Forbes had a two-run single.
In the fifth, sophomore Averie Morris drilled a three-run shot over the right center field fence for her second homer of the season.
“Waiting on that outside pitch and driving it to the right side was huge,” Morris said. “We did really well with that tonight.”
.@CFSoftball_cats sophomore Avery Morris talks about today\u2019s 14-1 6A bi-district playoff win over Lamar. Morris went 2-4 with three RBIs, all coming on a three-run shot for her second home run of the season. @CFISDAthletics @BFNDAthletics @BFND_AT @TXPrepSoftballpic.twitter.com/QoYzZO3VLg— VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston) 1651280641
Overall, the Bobcats had 12 hits and struck out just once in 33 at-bats. Morris, Elrod, Forbes, Moreno and sophomore Yadi Ortiz all had multiple hits.
“I’m proud of the way we used the whole field when we hit,” Stevens said. “Everybody knows that outside pitch is difficult to hit, and the fact that we were able to score up on it was big-time for us.”
Isabella Rios with a loud two-run double. Seven of Cy-Fair\u2019s nine runs so far have come with two outs. @CFSoftball_cats @CFISDAthleticspic.twitter.com/uT9iA8EXcj— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1651277566
Defensively, the Bobcats were perhaps even more remarkable.
Freshman Carey Granger threw well in 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on five hits and walking none. Sophomore Dalanee Ekster pitched admirably in relief, allowing a harmless RBI single from Aleah Zarzosa in the fifth.
But it was the defense behind them that stole the show. Both Granger and Ekster pitched to contact; Granger had the only strikeout of a Texans batter.
Ortiz was terrific behind the plate, quick and decisive. Morris was solid at shortstop. Right fielder Elrod made a gorgeous diving snare of a fly ball to end the Texans’ threat in the fourth and strand two runners in scoring position.
Heck of a defensive play by @CFSoftball_cats sophomore catcher Yadi Ortiz to get the runner at home. I believe that was second baseman Kaeli Lynn on the throw. @CFISDAthleticspic.twitter.com/JfRAPmky7D— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1651276547
WOW. What a catch by @CFSoftball_cats freshman Paige Elrod to thwart Lamar\u2019s threat in the fourth. Incredible play. @CFISDAthletics @BFNDAthleticspic.twitter.com/4jXPDMFXdi— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1651278317
“We always make the plays that come to us, and then we back it up with our offense,” Morris said.
Intangibly, leadership has been central to Cy-Fair’s success, thanks to its five seniors: Forbes, Kaeli Lynn, Alexa Castillo, Sandy Rosas-Penaloza and Jessica Spencer.
The “Fab Five,” Stevens’ nickname for her veterans, has held younger players accountable, expediting growth and maturity. They’ve set the tone and made it easier for the youth to manifest.
“These seniors set the tone. They have put their hearts and souls into this season,” Stevens said. “Every girl, every underclassman, is playing for them. It’s so much fun to watch.”
Playing together, and for each other, has raised the young club’s ceiling this season.
“We work well as a team,” Morris said. “I feel like every single person puts in what they need to do. Game one of the season, everyone was really tense and it was very individual. As we developed, we started making the routine plays defensively, and on offense we started doing our jobs to get runners in. It’s really been a team effort.”