Versatile Pritchett Leads New Braunfels Canyon Softball To 4th UIL State Final Four

New Braunfels Canyon softball has been a South Texas power since 2009, and Friday’s overcapacity crowd at Hays High School watched it clinch its fourth trip to the UIL state final four during that time. VYPE Player of the Game Aliyah Pritchett’s batting, pitching and baserunning led the Cougars to a 2-0 win against Austin High in the UIL 6A Region IV final.

“It feels awesome,” New Braunfels Canyon coach Kevin Randle said of the latest state berth. “Every year [and] every team is different. Lost a lot of seniors [and] lost a lot of experience [from last year’s run]. These kids played together and worked hard to get here.”

Pritchett put the pressure on Austin High early and often in the win. The Baylor signee reached base in all three plate appearances, including walks in the first and third innings. She scored off 2020 Bucknell commit Hunter Vestal’s RBI double, as well as a Maroons’ throwing error.

Austin High never recovered from the early deficit and didn’t record a hit until Daniela Camacho’s single in the bottom of the fifth. The Maroons also struck out nine times against Pritchett, who threw a three-hit complete game shutout.

“Just to pitch because I know my team had my back,” Pritchett said of the plan coming in. “We were in there to play our game.”

The other two hits came from Alyssa Ybarra and Natalie Guerrero in the bottom of the ninth, but Canyon’s ready infielders caught them for back-to-back outs before the next batter could take a swing.

“That was huge because they’d just taken momentum,” said Randle. “Who knows where it’s going to go from there?”

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