A Special Class

Kingwood Park seniors set culture of winning

Along with Byrd, Panthers captain Taylor DeBrosky has left her mark with her stellar defense. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on Vype

Since the group of eight walked onto the pitch, Kingwood Park has done almost nothing but win, including reaching the state tournament for the first time in program history last season.

"They've taken us to places we've never been before and set that as an expectation," White said. "When I first came in it was the third year of the school's program. We improved each year but when this group came in and their sophomore year we saw a big jump. In not can we just compete but we expect to compete and win against some traditional powers."

The seniors notched another win in their belts on Wednesday blowing out Willis 8-1 on senior night.

The win improved the seniors to 50-1-2 in district play, winning three district crowns in four years, and 78-11-5 overall with one more district and one regular season match left on the schedule.

"It means a lot, playing for this program has been so fun," Kingwood Park senior Allie Byrd said. "Obviously, all the successes have been really fun going through the last four years."

Byrd, who scored four goals on senior night, has been one of the key pieces to this senior class.

The North Texas signee now has 76 career goals, which puts her three goals behind Kobe McNutt (78) for sole possession of third-most goals in Kingwood Park history. Once past her, Brooke Harper's 96 goals would be next for second-most all-time.

"The last four years I've seen the seniors graduate and I was like that is never going to be me," Byrd said. "Now it's actually me it's a weird feeling."

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Houston's bats have a hot night

Astros clobber Rangers to win series opener

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After dropping two of three in Seattle, the Astros entered the regular season's final series still waiting to clinch their playoff berth. Luckily their matchup favored them, with four games against the 19-37 Rangers, which they have done well against in recent years. Here are highlights from the opener:

Final Score: Astros 12, Rangers 4.

Record: 29-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (5-2, 3.48 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA).

Astros put up 10 on Lynn 

Houston had no trouble getting acquainted with the Rangers' new stadium, jumping out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. After a lengthy at-bat against Lance Lynn, Jose Altuve reached on a one-out single, then scored from first on a two-out RBI-triple by Alex Bregman. They'd double their lead in the next at-bat on an error, making it 2-0.

They extended that lead even more in the next inning, getting back-to-back singles to start the inning to set up a big three-run dinger by George Springer to straightaway center-field to make it 5-0. Bregman added two more RBI to his night in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a leadoff single by Michael Brantley by hitting a two-run homer to make it a 7-0 lead. Altuve would push the total to double-digits in the top of the sixth, lifting a three-run home run of his own to make it a 10- lead.

Javier with a decent start, bullpen closes out the win

Meanwhile, Cristian Javier was doing well on the mound against the Rangers. He allowed just three baserunners through the first five innings, a double in the first, a hit batter in the second, and a single in the fifth. He would falter a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff single then a two-run homer, then later in the inning a sac fly, making it 10-3 before Houston would turn to their bullpen. Javier's final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 95 TP.

Luis Garcia would get the final out of the sixth then returned for the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff double that would score on a two-out RBI-double, making it a six-run game before Garcia finished the frame. Brooks Raley was the next reliever and notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Josh Reddick gave Houston two more insurance runs, joining the home run barrage with a two-run homer in the top of the inning to make it 12-4 going to the bottom half. Brandon Bielak was given a low-leverage opportunity to throw in the bottom of the ninth. He erased a two-out double for a scoreless inning to wrap up the lopsided win, lowering Houston's magic number to 1.

Up Next: The second game of this four-game set between Houston and Texas will start Friday at 7:05 PM Central at Globe Life Field. The pitching battle will be Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53 ERA) for the Rangers and Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA) for the Astros.

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