Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Sports Roundup

Tolar teams advance in postseason

Lady Rattlers make team history


The 2024 Tolar Lady Rattlers softball team has done something that has never been done before in program's history. Its sweep of Hico in the Class 2A Region II quarterfinals advanced  them to the semifinals for the first time ever.

The Lady Rattlers (22-6) edged Hico (22-12) 4-3 in the opening game May 10 before winning the second contest 13-0, May 11, both games played in Stephenville. Not only did it advance them, they also got a little payback from two seasons ago when Hico knocked them out of the postseason in this same round.

Tolar pitcher Reese Tryon struck out 26 batters in the two games combined. It was also her solo home run in the top of the fifth that lifted the Lady Rattlers from a 3-0 deficit in Game 1.

“This year our Tolar athletic program has been making history, and the girls set a goal in motion for our team, which was to join the history making. This past week that is just what they did!” exclaimed Lady Rattlers coach Christy Collie.

“This win was bittersweet for our upperclassmen.

“Our strength this year is how deep the talent goes on our team. Offensively, we don’t have a weak spot and we are diverse, from short game producers to home-run hitters, to power hitters, to quick base running. Defensively we can play some solid defense from stealing hits, turning double plays, striking out a lot of opponents and picking off runners who try to advance by stealing.”

Game 1 Tolar hitting: Allyson Dobbs two hits, home run, three RBIs, two stolen bases; Tryon two hits, home run, RBI; Senne Imel double; Jaylyn Miller one hit, stolen base; Ava Massey one hit; Kanyn Deaver walk, stolen base; Ava LeCluyse walk, stolen base.

Game 1 Tolar pitching: Tryon seven innings, four hits, three runs (two earned), 14 strikeouts, two walks, two hit batters.

Game 2 hitting: Deaver three hits, two RBIs, stolen base; Imel two hits, home run, two RBIs; Miller one hit, three RBI; Tryon double, home run, walk, two RBIs; LeCluyse two hits, home run, three RBIs; Massey one hit; Milly Taylor one hit; Jorgia Reed hit by pitch; Dobbs walk, stolen base.

Game 2 pitching: Tryon five innings, one hit, 12 strikeouts, no walks. 

“The girls are determined to lay down a foundation of history this year and let me tell you, they have worked hard to make this happen,” Collie said. “Working through adversity and conflicts has fueled their passion.”

The Lady Rattlers’ next challenge is a best-of-3 series against Crawford (26-5), ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 2A and 2022 state champions. The series began at press time, with Game 2 Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. and a third game, if necessary, to be played 30 minutes after Game 2. All games will be played in Glen Rose.


The Rattlers (16-7-2) once again find themselves in the third round of the Class 2A playoffs after sweeping Riesel (15-12-2) 3-1 and 6-5 May 8 in Cleburne. In the opening game, Tolar scored twice in the eighth inning after tying the game in the fifth, with the winning run coming on a Merritt Imel double. In the second game, the Rattlers broke a 5-5 tie in the fifth inning on a single by Talan Brown.

“The kids are playing well, while learning to overcome adversity,” Tolar coach Lance Alford said.

Game 1 Tolar hitting: Imel double, walk, two RBI; Cutter Cain double; Jesse Owen one hit; Noah Yanish one hit, RBI; Hunter Michels two walks; Talan Brown two walks; Rowdy Tryon walk; Clayton Stembridge walk; Drake Owens hit by pitch.

Game 1 Tolar pitching: Brown 7.2 innings, three hits, one run (zero earned), eight strikeouts, two walks; Oakley Saffer 0.1 innings.

Game 2 hitting: Michels two hits; Brown one hit, walk, RBI, three stolen bases; Yanish triple, walk, three RBIs; Owen one hit, walk; Cain two walks; Owens two walks, hit by pitch; Imel two walks; Stembridge hit by pitch, stolen bases.

Game 2 pitching: Saffer one inning, two earned runs, five walks; Owen 0.2 innings, two hits, one earned run, one strikeout, two walks; Owens three innings, four strikeouts, three walks; Tryon two innings, two hits, two earned runs, four strikeouts, four walks.

The Rattlers next face Valley Mills (30-2), the 2022 state champions and also ranked No. 3 in the state this season. The series, with all games in Glen Rose, had the first two games played at press time, with Game 3, if necessary, set for Saturday, May 18 at 1 p.m.

The Rattlers knocked the Eagles out of the postseason in 2023, taking two out of three in a thrilling series.


The Lady Indians (12-7) saw one of the best seasons in program history come to an end with a 1-0 loss to Archer City (17-13-1) in Graham May 10. It’s only the second time ever a Lipan softball team has advanced to the third round of the playoffs.

While Lipan managed no hits in the game, Ryan Atkinson and Gentry Kirkland drew walks. Lipan pitcher Ella Sharp also pitched a strong game, giving up two hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out seven in six innings.

“Although our season came to an end in the regional quarterfinals, this is a season I will never forget,” Lipan coach Heather Reatherford said. “These girls bought into and trusted our process, making this season so special. I have loved watching each of these girls grow as softball players, but even more I have loved watching them grow into incredible people. They each have a special place in my heart and I am so thankful.

“We will have nine girls coming back and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us next year.”


The North Texas High School Rodeo Association is holding its championship rodeo this weekend. Area qualifiers and their respective events include:

Barrel racing: Ainsley Reeves, Granbury

Breakaway roping: Kyley Kenley, Tolar

Chute dogging: Joseph Rickabaugh, Tolar; Levi Johnson, Granbury

Ride-up goat tying: Rylee Rickabaugh, Tolar; Carsyn Nolen, Granbury

Walk-up goat tying: Grace Burdick, Granbury; R. Rickabaugh

Pole bending: Reeves

Saddle bronc: Johnson

Team roping-header: Takota Kenley, Tolar

Also, several from the area are ranked among the leaders in Regions 3 and 10 in the Texas High School Rodeo Association, which doesn’t hold its finals until a few weeks from now. They include:

Region 3

Team roping: 13. Hunter Helton, Tolar; 14. Tripp Pittman, Lipan

Senior pole bending: 4. Kynzi Callaway, Lipan; 11. Morgan Veazey, Granbury

Senior goat tying: 4. Callaway

Senior barrel racing: 15. Veazey

Senior Girls All-Around: 4. Callaway

Region 10

Pole bending: 6. Hadley Durfey, Granbury

Goat tying: 14. Kaylee Garcia, Lipan

Barrel racing: 10. Kilyn Osburn, Lipan


Several area players have already started their late spring/summer tournament play in the Northern Texas PGA Junior Tournaments.

Prep Tour

The Golf Ranch, Richland: Austin White, Granbury, second in Boys 11-12 division; Townes Chauveaux, Granbury, third in Boys 9-10

Medalist Tour

Old Course at Firewheel, Garland: Lincoln Sherrill, tied for second in Boys 13-14, score of 80

Cross Timbers, Azle: Jack Smith, Lipan, second, Boys 13-14, 78; Sherrill, fourth, 8