Vista Ridge powers past Westlake in final two innings

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The Vista Ridge Softball team has made a habit of trailing early and coming back in the late innings.

Powered by a pair of homers the Lady Rangers scored all 11 runs in the final two innings and rallied to be Westlake at home 11-3 Friday night in the regular-season finale.

“I’ll take this team in the bottom of the 7th inning every day,” Vista Ridge head coach Lauren Myrick said. “They’ve been relentless all season. Sometimes we start slow, but they like to finish hard. That’s what makes me proud about this group is that they fight.”

Chloe Smith allowed three runs, one earned, on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Kristian Chapa hit a three-run homer in the fifth to tie the game at three and Maya Benologa put the game away with a three-run bomb in the sixth.

“I’m more confident with this squad than I am with any previous team,” Seniors Nicole Nickdow said. “We might not have the talent that we’ve had in past years, but the way we play together is great. We’re not just a team, but we’re friends off the field and you can see that trust when we play.”

Westlake scored two runs in the first three innings, first on a ground ball and then on a passed ball in the third. The Lady Chaparrals extended their lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth.

After a single from Smith and a fielder’s choice by Courtney Smith, Chapa blasted her second home run of the year over the right-field wall. Emilie Casady, Sara Ingram, Morgan Robillard, and White all scored in the sixth before Benologa hit her second long ball of the year to straight away center.

The Lady Rangers begin the playoffs this weekend against a team yet to be determined from San Antonio. The time, place, and date are yet to be determined.

Myrick said this senior class is special because they were freshmen during her first year in charge. They’ve made deep runs in the playoffs and have gone to the state tournament. She added the focus isn’t on winning and more about spending time together as a team.

“Playing like that, kind of loose and just wanting to have fun, it’s taking pressure off of them,” she said. “None of them are going to play in college, but they have the potential to. They want to enjoy their seniors season.”

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