The playoff jitters were evident early on, but it didn’t take freshman Rileigh Harris and Glenn long to settle in.
Harris finished with eight strikeouts in seven innings on the mound and drove in a pair of runs to help the Grizzlies beat Bastrop 4-3 in the bi-district round for their first postseason win in school history.
“As a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect,” Harris said. “But if you don’t have nerves, you’re not ready. I can always count on these girls no matter what.”
In addition for Harris’ pair of RBIs, freshman Kaitlyn Boelter hit a home run and the Grizzlies scored on a Bastrop error. Taysia Tate finished with three hits while Tatiana Johnson and Keyannah Chavez each had a pair of hits.
“For (Harris) to make those in-game adjustments is huge as a freshman,” Glenn head coach Marissa Guzman said. “We talk about that if you miss a pitch, make the adjustment and get the next one. She bought in and is completing the process.”
The Grizzlies were familiar with the Lady Bears and their standout starter Malea Rodriguez after beating them 2-0 during tournament play earlier this season.
After giving up a single in the first at-bat of the game, Harris struck out the next three batters.
Bastrop loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning, but could only get one run out of it after Harris got another strikeout from Harris and a pop out to end the inning.
“I told the defense to make sure they had the pitcher’s back,” Guzman said. that’s been the mentality outside of the team mottos. I love to see that camaraderie and teamwork.”
Boelter blasted a solo home run to dead center in the bottom half oft he inning to tie the game.
After back-to-back bunt singles in the fifth, some heads up base running and a poor throw by the Lady Bears gave the Grizzlies the lead. Harris then gave Glenn the lead for good with a two-run single to right.
“My first two at-bats weren’t the best, but going back up there with all the energy we created, this team culture keeps me going,” Harris said. “Nothing we could really expect, just coming in and seeing what we can get.”
Bastrop added one run in each of the final two innings but stranded two more runners in the final inning.
“Our kids have made it their goal to make that history and go on to round two,” Guzman said. “We showed everybody that we have a place in Class 5A and we can compete in playoffs.”
Glenn went from a winless district season in its first-ever campaign two seasons ago to the first district title this year, winning 11 of 12 games in its first year in Class 5A.
Next up for the Grizzlies is A&M Consolidated, which downed Lake Creek 11-7 in the first round.
“I know the energy is going to be up and we’ll be ready,” Harris said.