VAN -- Lauren Anderson rounded third as her coaches called for her to continue.

Anderson, the potential tying run in Friday 5A Region II regional final Game 2, was Hallsville's last hope. The ball sailed in from the outfield and reached third seconds before Anderson did. The umpire threw up his fist and signaled for an out as Forney players began to celebrate a 4-3 victory.

"We had baserunners left on base in situations where we just didn't come through," coach Kayla Whatley said. "That last inning was just to put pressure on them. They went up there and were determined to put a ball in play. They were fighting."

Unfortunately, the fight came up a bit short.

Hallsville (25-11) trailed 4-1 after the fifth inning, but Hailey Krchnak's sacrifice fly drove in Anahi Ramirez in the sixth to cut the deficit to two. Jaydin Ainsworth started off the seventh with a single and later scored off Anderson's RBI single.

Whatley faced a familiar foe in the series. Forney coach Pat Eitel is the former Hallsville coach and coached Whatley when she played for the Ladycats.

"We've got a great relationship," Whatley said. "I played with his daughter in college. We go way back. To have two coaches come from the same school and end up in the fifth round together, that lets you know what kind of staff we had. It is what it is. There's a good chance we meet up again next year."

Forney (33-6) scored early in the second inning when Hannah Holbrook and Tatum Stover had back-to-back RBI singles.

Although Whatley couldn't get Hallsville on to the state tournament this season, there is hope for next year. The Ladycats return nearly their entire starting lineup next season.

"I just want them to have that drive," Whatley said. "They can't relax. They know what it takes to get here. Week 1 you're excited. Week 2 you're kind of excited. Week three you're exhausted and Week 4 you're just doing everything you can to keep everybody injury free. To make it this far, it takes everything you've got. It takes a lot of luck and a lot of ability. They did a great job."

Forney 4, Hallsville 3

5A Region II Regional Final
At Van

Forney      020      110         --     4    8    2
Hallsville       000     011   1    --     3    5     1

Pitchers and catchers

  • Forney: Savannah DesRochers and Samantha Coker
  • Hallsville: Jaydin Ainsworth (5.0), Maddie Melton (2.0), and Taylor Freeman

WP -- DesRochers
LP -- Ainsworth

Doubles

  • Forney: Trinity Cannon, Tatum Stover.
  • Hallsville: Lorena Ramirez.

Triples

  • Hallsville: Jaydin Ainsworth.

Home runs

  • Ferny: Samantha Coke