Iowa Park Hawks remains region, state candidate; Deciphering the results of softball tournaments

I have lost track of how many baseball and softball scores I have typed over the past three weekends.

The way we collect scores for these sports has changed more than any other thanks to programs like GameChanger, which emails box scoring information to us as soon as it becomes available. Between alerts that a game is starting and notifications that a game is over, I get almost 100 emails a day from GameChanger during these tournament weekends.

That’s a lot of information to process. And it’s hard to know exactly what to take away from the tournament results. There are some pitchers used that usually don’t take the mound or circle during a district game, especially when it comes to baseball.

Coaches experiment with player positions and lineups. While everyone wants to win, the final score isn’t always the most important factor. It’s about getting games, hitters, and field reps.

Trying to look past it all, here are some impressions I gathered after the first few weeks of diamond season.

* Iowa Park baseball remains a regional and state competitor. It is not a litter. With plenty of returning talent, it’s no surprise that the Hawks still look extremely formidable.

They played this weekend in the highly competitive Midlothian Heritage Tournament, scoring victories over Heritage and Godley. Iowa Park’s only loss this season is against Levelland, seventh in the standings, 4-3.

Chris Dickens is the reigning Red River Diamond Dozen MVP. He’s gone for another good start on the pitch and the plate. Braxton Briones looks solid to become No.2.

The Hawks’ sticks were better early in the season than they were a year ago. Trent Green and Kaden Teafatiller both started hot.

The fourth-seeded Hawks have a huge week ahead of them. They visit No.1 Argyle on Thursday before welcoming a strong Benbrook squad on Friday.

* The results of our area softball teams confuse me. At some point, I’ll be climbing the TRN Weekly Top 10. It’s not going to be easy to formulate.

There are a lot of deserving teams and our home teams have faced each other – more than once. Just when I feel comfortable that a team is the favorite, it gets on edge.

Vernon, Burkburnett, Graham, City View, Henrietta, Holliday, Windthorst and Archer City have all impressed on multiple occasions.

If I had to pick a No.1 team now, it would be Graham. The Lady Blues were the most consistent from match to match. Junior Emma Southerland continues to strengthen in the pitching circle. She leads a team that has won two back-to-back district championships, but failed to make it through the state tournament.

Graham has a knack for pushing for the state again. Vernon feels the same after playing at Austin for the past two seasons.

Victoria Rater of Archer City plays Holliday on Friday March 1, 2019 in Henrietta.

Windthorst were seen as the team most likely to win their district at the start of the season, but Archer City knocked out their rivals to open the game 8-2A this weekend was one of the most shocking results of the season. season so far.

* The Lady Coyotes of Wichita Falls High School look like the most improved softball team in the area. The Lady Coyotes opened the District 4-5A game with a loss to Abilene Cooper, but they look way ahead of what they’ve been in recent seasons.

First-year coach Elizabeth Kimbell gives the Lady Coyotes the impression they could qualify for the playoffs for the second time in the program’s history and the first time since 1995.

Iowa Park is also worth mentioning, given they own a win over Old High and an 11-2 record. The Lady Hawks play in a tough quarter with Graham, Vernon and Burkburnett. They managed to upset Burk once last season. The pitching combination of Erin Fairchild and Raylea Parsons was impressive.

* The area’s most improved baseball team must be City View. I’m frankly not used to writing Mustang victories. They are currently 4-5 for the season.

I’m not sure that early season success will lead to a playoff berth, but the Mustangs should at least be more competitive in a tough district.

* Many schools are on spring break this week. The WFISD spring break will take place next week. This means matches played on unusual days and times.

Visit and follow @Hull_TRN, @zduncansports and @TRNSports on Twitter to stay up to date on area softball and baseball results.

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