FLY EAGLES FLY: No. 1 Barbers Hill wins first-ever UIL Softball State Championship

FLY EAGLES FLY: No. 1 Barbers Hill wins first-ever UIL Softball State Championship (Copyright (c) 2021 VYPE - All rights reserved)

AUSTIN - They just knew that this was their year.

After COVID-19 took away the 2020 season, Barbers Hill knew they had a legitimate shot at not just getting to Austin and the UIL State Softball Tournament but winning it all.

"This year we knew," Barbers Hill senior Sophia Simpson, the Class 5A State Championship game MVP, said. "It was redemption for all of us with COVID taking away [last season]. We needed it."

Barbers Hill defeated Hallsville on Friday 6-0 to notch its first-ever state tournament win and then on Saturday, it was Simpson's show. The University of Texas-signee put on a clinic from the very circle she will call home for the next four years.

Simpson tossed a complete game, striking out 14 - including the last batter - and holding Aledo to one run en route to a 4-1 victory for Barbers Hill winning the Class 5A State Championship.

"It means everything to this team, this program, this community, this school," Barbers Hill coach Aaron Fuller said. "I think the community and the school could sense it, they could taste it all year long. They knew that this group was a very talented group and had been playing well all year.

"The support we've gotten from the community and the school has been unreal."

Barbers Hill finishes the season 43-2 and was ranked the No. 1 softball team in the country by MaxPreps earlier this week. The state championship is the first team title for a Barbers Hill High School program since girls basketball won one in 1997. It is the sixth team title in high school history.

The Eagles got the scoring started from the beginning as Estela Garza drove in two on a single to right-center, making it 2-0. That score would hold until the fifth inning when Aledo pushed across its lone run of the night on an RBI single from Reagan Davis.

In that frame, Davis advanced to third base and represented the tying run with no outs. Simpson worked out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a popup, which is when Simpson said she felt like she had solid stuff.

Barbers Hill tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth with an RBI single from Faith Guidry and RBI double off the bat of Kaitlyn Dutton, making it 4-1 which would be the final.

Winning the state championship is especially sweet for the seniors such as Simpson, Guidry, Dutton, Samantha Landry, Ambert Thibodeaux, Jacklynn Ortiz, Kenlee Vaughan, and Kaylee Hornberger, whose legacy is cemented.

"Our names are going down in the history books at our school," Landry, who is signed to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said. "We won the first game at state, we won the first state championship. It's amazing, it's an amazing feeling."