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Texas high school softball playoffs: 2022 UIL Class 1A Softball State Championship preview, players to watch

SBLive Texas takes a closer look at the top players, storylines and x-factors to watch during the 2022 UIL Class 1A Softball State Championships on Tuesday (May 31) and Wednesday (June 1)

AUSTIN, Texas — The road to the Texas high school softball state championships ends this week at the University of Texas in Austin at the 2022 UIL Softball State Tournament.

The sixth and seventh rounds of the playoffs will get underway at Red & Charline McCombs Field, the Longhorns’ softball stadium, with the last teams left standing throughout the Lone Star State colliding to battle for six state titles.

The five-day state championship weekend is set to start with the UIL’s Class 1A Softball State Tournament when state semifinal matchups begin Tuesday (May 31) followed by the 1A state championship game on Wednesday (June 1).

RELATED: Class 1A Texas (UIL) Softball State Tournament bracket

Here are the projected first-pitch times and results for each of those Class 1A state tournament games:

  • Class 1A state semifinal — Hermleigh 2, Chireno 1 (Tuesday, May 31st)
  • Class 1A state semifinal — D’Hanis 2, Dodd City 0 (Tuesday, May 31st)
  • Class 1A state championship — Hermleigh Cardinals (16-6) vs. D’Hanis Cowgirls (23-7-1), 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 1st

SBLive Texas will be taking a closer look at the state’s top players, storylines and x-factors to watch in each classification level during the 2022 UIL Softball State Championships throughout the week.

We’ll begin by taking a deep dive to analyze the competition in the four-team Class 1A softball state tournament field, which features Chireno, D’Hanis, Dodd City and Hermleigh.

D’Hanis and Hermleigh secured their spots in the 1A state title game by eking out narrow victories against Dodd City and Chireno in their respective state semifinal matchups early Tuesday.

Here’s what you need to know about the Cowgirls and Cardinals before they step onto the softball diamond to square off in the Class 1A UIL Softball State Championship on Wednesday afternoon:


For more coverage of D’Hanis vs. Hermleigh in the Class 1A state title game and updates from other UIL Softball State Tournament matchups this week at SBLive Texas and on our social media channels.

Follow @SBLiveTX on Facebook and Twitter and reporter Andrew McCulloch (@ByAndyMcCulloch) on Twitter to keep up with live in-game updates and our post-game reporting. For photos and video highlights from the 2022 Texas (UIL) Softball State Championships, follow us on Instagram @sblivetx and on TikTok @SBLiveSports.


D’HANIS COWGIRLS

Season Record: 23-7-1 overall, Region IV champions

How They Got Here: 6-0 postseason record

  • Bi-district round — W 17-0 vs. San Perlita
  • Regional quarterfinal — W 14-0 vs. Moulton
  • Regional semifinal — W 19-0; W 15-0 vs. Leakey
  • Regional championship — W 11-1 vs. Bartlett
  • State semifinal — W 2-0 vs. Dodd City

Head Coach: Jose Martinez (4th season)

Players to Watch: Senior P/SS Marissa Santos; Sophomore C/P Kayla Looper; Junior 2B Julie Frosch; Junior SS Mabry Herrmann

State Tournament Appearances (Most Recent): Five (2021)

UIL Softball State Championships (Most Recent): One (2019)

Distance to Red & Charline McCombs Field: 128 miles

The Cowgirls came bitterly close to defending their 2019 state championship in last year’s state tournament. D’Hanis finished the 2021 campaign at 18-8-1 overall with an 8-4 loss to Dodd City in the Class 1A state title game. Head coach Jose Martinez and the Cowgirls, however, were able to earn a bit of revenge by blanking the Hornets 2-0 in this year’s state semifinals. D’Hanis will lean on its group of four seniors led by pitcher/shortstop Marissa Santos, who boasts a 19-5 record in the circle this season to go along with a .522 batting average, 40 RBI and 14 extra-base hits. Santos has headlined an excellent pitching staff during a dominant run through the postseason. The Cowgirls have yielded one run or less in all of their playoff games so far this year, but the biggest thing separating them from their state tournament competition has been their offense lately. Six D’Hanis players entered the 1A state tournament with batting averages at or above .500, and the team has scored in bunches throughout the playoffs averaging 13.0 runs per contest.


HERMLEIGH CARDINALS

Season Record: 16-6 overall, Region I champions

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How They Got Here: 7-0 postseason record

  • Bi-district round — W 17-1 vs. Crosbyton
  • Regional quarterfinal — W 5-0 vs. Electra
  • Regional semifinal — W 5-2; W 4-3 vs. Vernon Northside
  • Regional championship — W 7-6; W 13-6 vs. Clyde Eula
  • State semifinal — W 2-1 vs. Chireno

Head Coach: Sammy Winters (1st season)

Players to Watch: Sophomore P Summer Smith; Senior 2B Sarah Murphy; Sophomore C Sydney Hancock

State Tournament Appearances (Most Recent): Two (2017)

UIL Softball State Championships (Most Recent): None

Distance to Red & Charline McCombs Field: 276 miles

Hermleigh has been on a roll recently and enters the 2A state championship game riding a 10-game winning streak after a 2-4 start to the year. The Cardinals pieced together a strong end to the regular season and rode that momentum into a deep postseason push. Hermleigh looked sharp in its first UIL softball state tournament game since 2017 on Tuesday. The Cardinals were able to overcome a fantastic complete-game effort by senior pitcher Morgan Collier to survive and claim a 2-1 win in the 1A state semifinals against Chireno. Now, Hermleigh appears closer than ever to taking home a state championship trophy in long-time assistant Sammy Winters’ first year as head coach. Only two of the Cardinals’ 15 players are seniors, meaning Hermleigh will have to rely on its talented freshmen and sophomores, like Summer Smith (.433 batting average) and Sydney Hancock (.323). The Cardinals, however, have gained plenty of valuable experience en route to the state title game after tallying a 3-0 mark in one-run games this postseason.


Stay with SBLive Texas all week and throughout the postseason for scores, game recaps, photo galleries, top performers and much more.

For complete statewide scores and schedules, check our Texas scoreboards below:

STATEWIDE TEXAS SCOREBOARD

REGION I SCOREBOARD | REGION II SCOREBOARD

REGION III SCOREBOARD | REGION IV SCOREBOARD


Here are the brackets for every classification level in Texas this week at the 2022 UIL Softball State Championships:

CLASS 6A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

CLASS 5A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

CLASS 4A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

CLASS 3A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

CLASS 2A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

CLASS 1A SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET


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More from SBLive Texas:

Vote for the Texas High School Athlete of the Week! (May 23-29)

(Feature photo by Xxx Xxx)