WOLFFORTH -- Any questions about where Frenship’s motivation was Friday night in the regular-season finale were answered pretty quickly.
The Tigers shrugged off an early Midland High run and raced to a 12-2 victory as a springboard into the Class 6A playoffs.
Frenship answered the Lady Bulldogs’ single run in the 1st with three runs in the bottom of the frame and never looked back on the way to run-ruling the District 2-6A regular-season champion.
With the playoffs up next, the Tigers (19-7, 8-4) will be the No. 3 seed and take on El Paso Americas with the details to be determined.
Tigers’ senior Maya Mongelli started things off helped her team quickly leapfrog the Lady Bulldogs (24-4-1, 10-2) when she cranked a two-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning.
Erin Boles kept Frenship in front by throwing three straight scoreless innings to giver her offense time to get revved up.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the 4th inning in a wild sequence when Makayla Garcia tried to extend a double into a triple on a deep hit ball to left-center field. She was called out at third with a tag, but AB Prestridge crossed home in time to count for the Lady Tigers’ fourth run of the game.
Midland High put the Frenship fans on the edge of their seats with a golden bases-loaded opportunity in the 5th, but Boles minimized the damage. With one out on the board, Nalaney Paul flied out to bring in a run for to bring the Lady Bulldogs within 4-2, but a one-pitch flyout sent the game to the bottom of the 5th.
Boles smacked a solo run and Mongelli followed with her second homer of the game for a 6-2 Frenship lead.
“I’m really glad I got to finish off on this field with two home runs,” Mongelli said. “My goal this game was to swing as hard as I could each time because there’s nothing that can go wrong when you swing as hard as you can. If you ground out, then at least you hit as hard as you could.”
Midland High’s McKena Dutchover was in the circle for the Lady Bulldogs but was left in the game following the back-to-back dingers.
Boles faced five batters in the top of the 6th inning, retiring the first two batters quickly. A hit-by-pitch and a walk followed though giving the Lady Bulldogs a two-out chance. But Boles retired Yesenia Rodriguez on a lineout to shortstop Makayla Garcia to set up Frenship’s sprint to the finish.
“Erin threw well,” Tigers’ coach Robby Dickenson said. “She had some struggles in the middle of district, but she battled. The ball was moving really well and had good velocity. She played with good defense behind her too, so that’ll help.”
Up 6-2, Frenship’s plate discipline was on display with back-to-back walks to open the bottom of the 5th inning. Sydnee Bowling jumped on the opportunity and cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to trigger a six-run game-ending at-bat. Garcia followed with an RBI double, advanced to third on a passed ball to set up Boles for an RBI opportunity, and she capitalized with a hard single to shortstop.
The 10-2 lead was nice, but the Tigers wanted to end things. With two outs on the board, Jill Franco stepped into the batter’s box and sent the second pitch she got over the center-field fence where it landed roof of a pickup truck with cheering Frenship fans standing in the bed – the Tigers’ fourth long ball of the night and the exclamation point on the 12-2 triumph.
“We’ve focused on defense a lot early in the season, then we hit a little bit of a bump in the road,” Dickenson said about what the team needs to focus on as the playoffs arrive. “So, defense, and then making adjustments to the pitching, which you always have to do, because you’re going to see different kind of pitching all the way through (the playoffs). We saw that even in district. Our district was really competitive, so that helped prepare us for the playoffs. We have five really good teams in our district, so you had to pretty much show up for every game if we wanted to be successful, which we were.”
FRENSHIP 12, MIDLAND HIGH 2 (5)
Midland High 100 010 -- 2 4 0
Frenship 300 126 -- 12 16 0
McKena Dutchover and Samantha Bustos; Erin Boles and Maya Mongelli. W -- Boles. L -- Dutchover. 2B: Midland High -- Jolie Baeza; Frenship -- Boles, Sydnee Bowlin 2, Makayla Garcia 2. HR: Frenship -- Boles, Jill Franco, Maya Mongelli 2. Records: Midland High 24-4-1, 10-2 District 2-6A; Frenship 19-7, 8-4. Up next: Both teams will play in the Class 6A bi-district playoffs.