AUSTIN — Midlothian High School's Shelby Noah went 0-for-1 in two plate appearances and had one of the Red Team's four walks during an 8-4 loss to the Blue Team during the July 13 Texas Girls Coaches Association 5A-6A All-Star Game at Noack Field.
She also pitched an inning of softball, allowing five hits and two runs. The experience of playing with some of the best female talents in Texas' borders may have softened the loss a bit.
Noah was one of 54 athletes from the state to compete in the organizations two All-Star Games and was joined by district rival Kate Tovar of Mansfield Lake Ridge High School. Noah and Tovar were the only two players chosen from the UIL 10-5A and two of six chosen from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
While Tovar went 0-for-2 via a pop out and a strike out, Noah walked during her first at bat in the second inning after passing on a 3-1 count fastball and drove a shallow fly ball into the glove of Barbers Hill High School's Ariana Saenz in the sixth.
Despite the final score, it was the Red Team that took a early 3-0 lead. In the top of the first inning, Austin Bowie High School's Tiffany Lincon earned a leadoff walk, Abilene Wylie's Alexis Perry sent her to second with third-pitch single and Mesquite Poteet High School's Mya Stevenson cleared the bases with a home run drive to center field.
Stevenson, the games losing pitcher, also homered in the fourth.
The Blue Team rallied in the bottom of the first to draw the score within one run in the first inning after a single by Angleton High School's Tate Whitley and a two-run double by Magnolia West High School's Caitlyn Rodgers. A sacrifice fly by Whitley and a RBI single by Rodgers would help the Blue Team tie the game and take the lead in the bottom of the third.
Witchita Ryder High School's Madeline Naylor's double two batters later pushed their lead to 7-3. A Rodgers' double in the top of the sixth earned the Blue Team's eighth — and game-sealing — run.
The Red Team won the All-Star game 6-4 in 2016. It was Noah's first invitation to the TGCA showcase in her high school career.
The incoming Midlothian High senior starting pitcher struck out 55 batters while walking 35 and allowing 55 earned runs. Head Coach Alejandro Lozoya, the Lady Panthers and their first-year ace won 19 of their 27 games and finished 11-3 and second place behind Mansfield Legacy High School in the District 10-5A standings.
As a power hitter, she posted a .649 overall batting average, .689 on-base percentage and 1.27 slugging percentage in 14 district games last season. In five postseason games with the Lady Panthers, the District MVP hit one of her season's six home runs and drove in one of her 12 total RBIs.
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI