Argyle 3, Canyon 2: Argyle started his offense just in time to earn a victory over Canyon in the opener of a Region I-4A semifinal series on Wednesday night.
The Eagles were a run down five innings before Hunter Sandifer and JC Davis each drove late in a run to give Argyle a 3-2 win at Crutcher Scott Field on the Abilene Christian University campus.
Davis’ single in the top of seventh place slammed the game-winning run.
The series continues with an 11 a.m. game on Thursday. A third game may follow.
Argyle (31-3-1) has now won six straight playoff games. The last of those wins was one of the closest.
Canyon (17-4) scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Eagles came back to tie the game on Sandifer’s RBI.
Senior pitcher Evan Brandt took care of the rest while finishing a two-hitter to take the win.
Iowa Park 4, Argyle 2: Hitting a run at the top of the first inning gave No. 6 Argyle an early advantage against the state’s top-ranked 4A team.
From there, however, the tide turned quickly as the Lady Eagles gave up four runs in the bottom half en route to a 4-2 loss in Game 1 of their Region I-4A playoff series to Iowa Park. The loss leaves Argyle close to exiting the playoffs in the same regional finals round as last year against the same opponent.
“I just topped the first inning, that’s what it was,” said Argyle coach Kevin Cook. “Our girls will come back, they will be fine. We were pretty good on the plate, we focused on what we had to hit.
“They know they can play.”
In a high-scoring first inning, five of the game’s six runs went over the plate. Lady Eagles third baseman Hailey Clark started with an RBI double with two outs in front of first left fielder Taylor Platt, who walked before advancing to second with a flyout.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Hawks responded with four runs to a sacrificial groundout and two RBI singles. Five singles and a mid-inning walk proved crucial as Iowa Park held the lead the rest of the way.
Lady Hawk pitcher Abby Dowell was an important part of the effort both at the plate and in the circle. The Boise State commit was 2 for 3 with a run made while beating five batsmen and conceding just two hits as she went the distance.
“This is the best we’ve ever held before,” said second baseman Peyton Peck. “If we hit just a little bit better, tomorrow we will be great. We’re a good batting team. If we just adapt to the ball, we’ll hit it great and we’ll be fine.
“She throws a lot of changes, so just better sit on that change and see her more. Not winning at rise balls because there weren’t any strikes at all. If we just hold back with those two pitches I think we’ll be great.”
The pitchers calmed down after the opening frame when only four of the game’s 10 hits came the rest of the way. Argyle had a player on a pop-up to the right in the second inning that fell to an error but failed to pull over the runner before being set off for the next three innings. Iowa Park would get a single in the third and a triple in the fifth, but couldn’t score another run either.
A golden opportunity for the Lady Eagles to rally came in the sixth inning. Two walks gave Argyle a pair of runners on base with an out. The duo advanced to second and third with a ball thrown after a too-short pop-out, but a groundout ended the inning with no harm.
The Lady Hawks were then crushed by a flyout and double play to end the sixth and give the Lady Eagles one last chance on court. A one-out solo home run by Peck to right midfield gave Argyle hope of a late comeback.
“It felt pretty good from the start,” Peck said. “I did not know it [if it was far enough] because these fences are 220 feet. It felt really good.”
However, a groundout and popout followed as Dowell finally closed the contest.
Game 2 of the series will be played again at Bowie High School on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. An Argyle win would force a crucial Game 3 in Bowie at 3pm on Saturday.
“Don’t make any plans for Saturday, that’s all I told them,” Cook said of what he said to his players after the game. “If you really think you can win, don’t make any plans for Saturday because we have to come back here and win Game 2 tomorrow and then come back on Saturday. It was short and sweet.”