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SportzBuzz - July 2024

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Episcopal Knights

SEVEN IN A ROW The Episcopal Knights won the SPC Softball Championship for the seventh consecutive season. The Knights defeated rival Kinkaid 5-1 in the SPC final to wrap up this year’s title.

With its 5-1 victory over rival Kinkaid in the SPC final, the Episcopal Knights secured a remarkable seventh consecutive SPC Softball Championship. “The SPC conference was the toughest that I can remember, so our girls really had to step up and play at another level,” said Episcopal softball coach Caitlyn Cain. “It’s always tough when you have a target on your back, but the girls handled it well. Our lone senior was Allie Williams and she really led the team.”

As for Williams, the senior centerfielder connected on a school record 14 home runs this past season. She will next play collegiate softball at the University of New Mexico. Another major contributor offensively for the Knights was junior third and first baseman Gianna Lewis who hit for a batting average of over .400. “Gianna was a real catalyst for our offensive attack,” said Cain. “She was sort of a protector for Allie in the lineup.”

On the mound, the Knights were led by an outstanding season from junior Reagan Moriarty who had 79 strikeouts in 82 innings of work this past season. “Reagan started both of our victories at the SPC tournament and did a really nice job and then sophomore Jordan Bey came in and picked up the saves,” added Cain.

St. John’s Mavericks

SPC CHAMPIONS The St. John’s Mavericks dominated the SPC Golf Tournament, winning their seventh straight SPC Championship. The Mavericks finished in first place by a 34-stroke margin.

While Episcopal was winning its seventh straight SPC title in softball, the St. John’s Mavericks girls golf team secured its seventh consecutive SPC Championship. The Mavericks dominated the SPC golf tournament in winning the championship by a lofty 34-stroke margin over second place John Cooper School.

“The girls played really well,” said Mavericks golf coach Jack Soliman. “We played the tournament at the Golf Club of Houston which is the toughest course we have played all season. It’s where they used to play the Shell Houston Open.”

With the Mavericks in full control of the team title by the end of the first day, the biggest suspense down the home stretch of the two-day tournament was a fierce battle for the individual title, with St. John’s senior Brielle Burns finishing in first place by a tight two-stroke margin over Emily Zhang of Houston Christian. The St. John’s sisters tandem of Kenna and Kendace Lee, finished tied for third just four strokes back of Burns. In addition, St John’s teammate Audrey Liu finished tenth overall giving the Mavericks four of the top ten finishers.

“Brielle, Kenna, Audrey, and Lily Veazey are all part of a truly special senior class for us,” added Soliman. “We have had some really talented golfers come through here over the last dozen years, but this group is as strong as any of them.” 

Second Baptist Eagles

STATE CHAMPIONS With a late season surge that included victories over Beaumont Kelly and then Southwest Christian in the state final, the Second Baptist Eagles captured the TAPPS Division II State Baseball Championship.

With an impressive late season surge, the Second Baptist Eagles came on strong to win the TAPPS Division II State Baseball Championship. The Eagles secured the seventh baseball championship in school history with a 10-7 victory over Southwest Christian School in the state final at UT-Arlington. Eagles sophomore Christian McCleary was named the championship game MVP. The Eagles were also bolstered by a strong outing from starting pitcher Ethan Eschweiler in the title victory. In the Eagles 6-1 state semifinal victory over Beaumont Kelly, Wes Baker connected on a key 3-run homer and was named the game’s MVP.

 “We had to win our last two regular season games against Fort Bend Christian just to even get in the playoffs,” said Eagles head baseball coach Rayner Noble. “We got great pitching from Carson Bratcher and that fueled our momentum. We had a conversation with the guys on what direction we needed to go, and the mentality of our team switched. The team put it into another gear and the rest is history.” 

“I truly believed from the start that we were capable of this,” added Eagles senior Ben Kalife. “It was just a matter of putting all the pieces together to be successful and we got there. Towards the end of the season we started really clicking and our bats got especially hot in the playoffs.”

The Eagles caught fire in a playoff run that included victories over San Antonio Christian, St John’s XXIII, Beaumont Kelly, and then the title victory over Southwest Christian. “Coming away with a state championship victory to end my high school baseball career was incredibly special and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” added Kalife. “It really was a storybook ending.”

Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].

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