Walk-off homer seals victory as Harper edges Center Point

By Danny Hirt —

Despite losing their first game to Center Point in a best-of-three scenario Friday by a 2-0 score, the Harper High School Ladyhorns bounced back to win the next two contests, 12-2 and 8-7, and will now advance in the Region IV-1A softball playoffs to the regional semifinal round.

District 29-1A representative Harper, 21-8 and ranked sixth in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association 1A poll, will now face No. 7 Shiner in a two-out-of-three playoff set for Friday and Saturday on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos. The first game starts at 7 p.m. Friday, with Game Two to be played Saturday at 2 p.m. A third contest, if needed, will be held later on Saturday.

After the loss on Friday, HHS head coach Scott Vasquez said he and the team members met and “talked more about relaxing and finding a way to get things going. I stressed that we didn’t need anyone doing any more than what they can. It was just a matter of everyone doing what they do well; nothing extraordinary was needed.”

The mentor went on to say that he warned the girls not to get “too caught up in it being the playoffs, the crowd and Game Two being an elimination game. Sometimes they forget to just be part of the moment and enjoy it. If we all do what we do and do it well we would be all right.”

Who’s next?

Vasquez and Company have an idea of what to expect this weekend of Shiner, and it won’t be easy.

The Lady Comanches finished second in District 28-1A, a district that Vasquez says “might be the toughest in Class A in the state.”

He mentioned that District 28 has produced the last three state champions — Weimar (2013), Flatonia (2012) and Shiner (2011).

“Shiner has appeared in nine state tournaments and won four titles,” Vasquez said. “It’s a great tradition — something we are trying to build so we look forward to this series.”

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