Lindale head softball coach Ken White keeps receiving the same texts. He’s always in the late afternoon heat when they arrive.

“Most of them say ‘I know you are out there on that field practicing, and I’m sitting here on an easy chair,’” White laughed.

The person sending them is former Lindale coach Michelle Parker, who retired last year following 13 seasons. White served as her assistant for five years before taking over the program — and the Lady Eagles haven’t skipped a beat.

Fresh off an unbeaten district campaign, Lindale is set to begin what it hopes will be a long postseason. The Lady Eagles (21-3-1) meet Gladewater in a Class 3A best-of-three area round series this weekend.

The opening game is at 6 p.m. Friday in Lindale. The series resumes at 4 p.m. Saturday in Gladewater and Game 3, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.

White had a head start on the transition.

“It’s a pretty easy transition when you get to know these girls as an assistant coach,” he said. “It’s not like I came in from another school. Last year Michelle was pregnant and I had to assume a lot more responsibilities than I had in the past. I knew (last year) that she wasn’t going to be coming back and that she made up her mind to be a stay-at-home mom.”

The Lady Eagles have responded to the new era in dominant fashion, having swept powerhouse Van in district and moved up to No. 7 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association state rankings.

“If you’d asked me before district play began how I thought we would do, I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that we would go 10-0,” White said. “The best I hoped for was a split with Van. We beat Van at our place in a close game and then we went over there to their place and won. It’s euphoric to be able to accomplish that.”

Lindale senior pitcher Kayla Cosby is 18-3-1 on the season with a 0.79 ERA and 155 strikeouts, plus has walked only 11 in 560 at bats. The leading hitters are senior Mariah Millington (.473, 35 hits, 16 RBIs), sophomore Heather Gilbert (.371, 26 hits, five home runs) and senior Jennifer Miller (.314, 10 extra-base hits).

White has enjoyed his first season atop the program, during which the direction has stayed in tune with the past.

“I can’t say that I’ve changed anything,” White said. “Everything is pretty much the same; what we’ve been doing, the way we’ve been doing it and what we’ve put an emphasis on. (Parker) really established a successful program, winning the state championship and going to the state finals three years in a row. I just continue to do what she had in place.”

The winner between Lindale and Gladewater advances to meet either No. 8 Henderson or Crandall — who begin a best-of-three series today in Brownsboro — in the third round.


Area High School Softball Playoff Pairings

Class 4A

Region II

Area

Nacogdoches vs. Elgin

(Best-of-three series)

At College Park HS, The Woodlands

Game 1: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Game 2: 5 p.m. Friday

Game 3: 30 minutes after conclusion of Game 2, if necessary

Hallsville vs. Forney, 7 p.m. Thursday, Lindale

Marshall vs. Pflugerville Hendrickson, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Waxahachie

Class 3A

Region III

Area

Rusk vs. Lorena, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Fairfield

Region II

Area

Henderson vs. Crandall

(Best-of-three series)

At Brownsboro

Game 1: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Game 2: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Game 3: 11 a.m. Saturday

North Lamar vs. Van

(Best-of-three series)

Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday, Sulphur Springs High School

Game 2: TBD

Game 3: TBD

Lindale vs. Gladewater

(Best-of-three series)

Game 1: Gladewater at Lindale, 6 p.m. Friday

Game 2: Lindale at Gladewater, 4 p.m. Saturday

Game 3: 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 2, if necessary

Class 2A

Region II

Area

Crawford vs. Malakoff

(Best-of-three series)

At Corsicana HS

Game 1: 6 p.m. Thursday

Game 2: 6 p.m. Friday

Game 3: 6 p.m. Saturday, if necessary

Region III

Area

Mineola vs. Tatum, 6 p.m. Friday, Pine Tree High SChool

Hardin vs. Sabine, 7 p.m. Thursday, Lufkin Hudson

Central Heights vs. Buna

Harmony vs. New Boston, 6 p.m. Friday, Mount Pleasant

Linden-Kildare vs. White Oak

(Best-of-three Series)

At Marshall HS

Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday

Game 2: 6 p.m. Friday

Game 3: 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 2, if necessary

Troup vs. New Waverly

(Best-of-three series)

At Huntington

Game 1: 7 p.m.?Friday

Game 2: 3 p.m. Saturday

Game 3: 30 minutes following conclision of Game 2, if necessary

Class 1A

Region III

Area

Garrison vs. Dillardsville Big Sandy

Saltillo vs. Douglass

(Best-of-3 series)

At Lear Softball Complex, Longview

Game 1: 7 p.m. Friday.

Game 2: 2 p.m. Saturday

Game 3: 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 2, if necessary

Recommended for you

Load comments