EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For just the second time in program history, the Hanks softball team advanced to the Class 5A Regional Semifinals over the weekend with a series sweep of Abilene Wylie.
Hanks is into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015 and they did it with a pair of impressive wins, beating Wylie 6-1 in game one, then 7-5 in game to secure the Regional Quarterfinals victory.
Now, the Knights will turn their attention to Colleyville Heritage in the Regional Semifinals. The two teams will play a three-game series on Friday and Saturday at Midland Greenwood High School.
“It’s definitely a goal we had on the calendar. We thought we might get to it last year, but it just wasn’t in the cards,” said Hanks head coach Shelley Prather. “We’re right there, we’re right there with them. It’s a matter of showing up and playing our best game and we can do this.”
Hanks has been one of the most dominant teams in the state this year. They enter the Round of 16 with a record of 38-1, the one loss coming back in February to Coahoma in an out-of-town tournament.
A big reason for their success has been senior pitcher Desirae Spearman, who pitched and won both games of the Regional Quarterfinals for Hanks. As the New Mexico State signee goes, so go the Knights; she gets it done in the circle and at the plate for Hanks.
On a senior-laden team, Hanks is using their cumulative experience to lead the way and hope to advance to the first Elite Eight in program history this weekend with two wins over Colleyville Heritage.
“Losing was not an option (in the Regional Quarterfinals), so I think we came out and we attacked. When we were down in that first game, we knew that we just had to play our game and we’d come through in the end,” said Spearman.
Hanks and Colleyville Heritage will play game one on Friday at 2 p.m. CT at Midland Greenwood. Game two will be Saturday at 10 a.m. CT, with a third game slated to begin 30 minutes after game two if necessary.