Abilene ISD Communications

Two of the hottest baseball teams in District 4-5A reside in Abilene, and they meet on the diamond Friday night in a huge contest as the regular season heads into the home stretch. The Abilene High softball team can clinch a spot in the Class 5A playoffs Friday night in Lubbock, and track and field athletes from Abilene High and Cooper will compete Friday in the Region I-5A Area championship meet in Lubbock for the right to move on to next week’s regional track and field championship meet.

Here’s a wrapup of the previous week in Abilene ISD athletics and a look at what’s coming up for district teams:

Winners of four straight, the Cooper Cougars are the hottest team in District 4-5A, and they have a huge game looming Friday night at Blackburn Field against crosstown rival Abilene High. The Cougars have been impressive in this run with wins over Lubbock Monterey and Lubbock High to get it started and continuing with a win over Lubbock Coronado and Tuesday night’s 10-2 blowout of Lubbock Cooper. Cooper jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the Pirates en route to the win. Jeron Flores went six strong innings on the mound for the Cougars, giving up just five hits while striking out five Lubbock Cooper hitters. Jace Crawford drove in four runs, while Jaden Carrillo and Brady Henderson each had three hits to pace the offense. The Cougars are 11-13 overall and have gone from out of the playoff race to the thick of it with a 5-8 district mark with five games to play. After taking on the Eagles, the Cougars will host Wylie on Tuesday (7 p.m.) before playing at Lubbock Monterey next Saturday.

Abilene High, meanwhile, vaulted back into a three-way tie for first place, thanks to a 3-2 win Tuesday night at Wylie and Cooper’s win over Lubbock Cooper. The Eagles, Bulldogs, and Pirates are all 9-4 in District 4-5A, two games clear of fourth-place Lubbock Monterey (7-6), three games ahead of Lubbock Coronado (6-7), and four games ahead of sixth-place Cooper (5-8). Trailing the Eagles 3-2 going to the bottom of the fifth inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases against AHS starter Connel Colley, who got out of the jam unscathed. Reliever Joseph Flores faced the same situation in the bottom of the sixth inning but got out of the jam without giving up the lead. Finally, Abilene High ace Brady Bennett loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh before getting out of the inning without a run scoring to give AHS the win over the Bulldogs. After hosting Cooper at 7 p.m. Friday, the Eagles will be at Lubbock Monterey next Tuesday (April 16).

The Abilene High-Cooper game will be carried live on AISD Live.

The Lady Eagles of Abilene can clinch a playoff berth Friday night with a win at Lubbock Coronado. Abilene High is 17-12-1 overall and 6-4 in District 4-5A, which is good for fourth place in the league behind Lubbock Cooper (9-1), Lubbock Monterey (7-2), and Wylie (5-3). An Abilene High win over Coronado would push AHS to 7-4 and the best the Lady Mustangs (3-6 in district) could finish would be 5-7, giving the final playoff spot to the Lady Eagles. Abilene High senior pitcher Diana Silva notched a perfect game Tuesday night (April 9) in a 10-0 home win over Lubbock High. Silva – who threw no-hitters in wins over Wylie (March 28) and Cooper (April 2)  – struck out 12 batters Tuesday night in the win over the Lady Westerners. After Friday night’s game against Lubbock Coronado, AHS will wrap up the regular season on Tuesday (April 16) at home against Lubbock Cooper.

The Cooper Lady Cougars will play their final two games of the season Friday night (at Lubbock High) and next Tuesday (April 16) at home against Lubbock Coronado. The Lady Coogs are 10-19 overall and 1-8 in district play.

The Abilene High and Cooper boys’ and girls’ track and field teams will be in action Friday at the Region I-5A Area meet at Lowery Field in Lubbock. The top four athletes in each event at last week’s District 4-5A meet qualified for the area meet. The AHS boys qualified 10 athletes in 10 events and three relays for the meet. The AHS girls qualified eight athletes in nine events and three relays, while the Cooper girls qualified seven in six events and one relay. The Cooper boys qualified one athlete in four events and two relays for the area meet. The Area championship will pit athletes from District 3-5A (Amarillo, Amarillo Caprock, Amarillo Palo Duro, Amarillo Tascosa, and Plainview) against athletes from District 4-5A. The top four finishers in an event at Area will qualify for the Region I-5A meet on April 19-20 at Lowery Field in Lubbock. The top two finishers in each event at the Region I-5A championship meet will advance to the State championship meet, May 3-4, at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.