Some more late-game magic has the Lufkin Lady Panthers’ softball team one win away from its first trip to the state tournament. On Thursday night, it was Jasmine Ibarra and Reagan Jordan that played the role of the magicians.
With the game tied in the seventh inning, Ibarra delivered an infield single and Jordan sprinted all the way around to score from second to give the Lady Panthers a 3-2 win over top-ranked Frisco. The win gives the third-ranked Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead in the Class 5A Region II Final against Frisco.
The Lady Panthers will go after the sweep on Saturday afternoon when the series moves to East Texas. Game 2 of the series will be played in Jasper on Saturday afternoon at 2. A third game, if necessary, would be played 30 minutes following the conclusion of the second game.
While Ibarra and Jordan were the heroes in the seventh inning, it was another stellar performance from Alex Flores that kept the Lady Panthers in the game against one of the best teams the state has to offer. She allowed two runs on six hits while striking out 11 in the complete game effort.
Unlike the previous series when Lufkin had to come from behind for both of its wins, the Lady Pack never trailed on Thursday night. The Lady Panthers took advantage of a pair of Frisco errors to claim a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Frisco chipped away at that margin, scoring a run in the third inning and another one in the sixth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
The game stayed at 2-2 until Lufkin strung together three straight hits in the seventh inning to regain the lead. From there, Flores retired Frisco in order in the seventh inning to preserve the win. With the victory, the Lady Panthers improve to 37-4 on the season. Meanwhile, Frisco dropped to 29-2 on the year.