Southwest (34-11) vs. The Woodlands (38-3)
Class 5A semifinals
6 p.m. Friday at McCombs Field, Austin
The Woodlands, No. 1 in one state poll, is making its second state appearance and hopes the outcome is the same as its first excursion to Austin in 2011.
The Highlanders won the Class 5A title. Three players return who participated in that title game, seniors Caitln Bartsch, center fielder Amy Cimera and second baseman Sidney Salmans.
Bartsch, a University of Nebraska signee, is The Woodlands’ No. 2 pitcher, as she was that season. She has an 11-1 record and 1.72 ERA.. Cimera and Salmans, a Northwestern State (La.) commit, both have batting averages over .400.
Junior left-handed pitcher Abby Langkamp is the key for the Highlanders. She has a perfect 25-0 record to go with a 1.43 ERA in 151 2/3 innings. The Baylor commit has stuck out 180 and walked 31 while pitching 14 shutouts.
The offensive leaders include juniors shortstop Aubrey Leach (.594 batting average, 46 RBIs, 49 stolen bases) and first baseman Shelby Dublin (.366 batting average, 31 RBIs). Dublin is another Highlander who has chosen Northwestern State as a college destination. Leah has committed to the University of Tennessee.
Other players to watch include Leach’s sister, freshman Kelcy Leach, and junior third baseman Kaitlin Stavinoha .(440 batting average, 46 RBIs). The younger Leach, a catcher, has a team-high 10 home runs and is batting .339 with 34 RBIs. Senior left fielder Brittany Manns, who’ll play at Dartmouth College, has a .377 batting .average.
Like Southwest, The Woodlands has a six-game winning streak. The Highllanders have won 29 of their last 30 games.