If the Lewisville High School softball team is going to make a return trip to the UIL state tournament, they will likely have to do so without All-American pitcher/first baseman Maribeth Gorsuch.
Gorsuch was expected to miss her second consecutive game when the Lady Farmers faced Hebron at the LHS Killough campus Friday night. The game was completed after The Lewisville Texan Journal went to press.
The four-year starter has been sidelined since suffering concussion-like symptoms after a collision with teammates while attempting to field a fly ball in LHS’ 3-2 loss to Plano on Tuesday, March 22. The loss dropped the Lady Farmers to fifth place in District 6-6A, but a subsequent win over Marcus three days later lifted them back to fourth in their highly-competitive district.
In a Tuesday interview during LHS’ afternoon practice, Lady Farmer coach Lori Alexander said that Gorsuch was meeting with doctors on Wednesday. She expects Gorsuch to miss a significant amount of games and practice time due to the injury, even hinting that the LSU pledge’s high school career could be over.
“The doctors seem to think her season is done,” Alexander said. “I foresee her being out at least through district play. Hopefully she can make it back by playoff time, but that’s if we can make the playoffs.”
A Lewisville post-season run is no longer a foregone conclusion. The Lady Farmers are perilously hanging on to the fourth and final playoff spot afforded district teams with a little less than half of the district season remaining.
“Maribeth’s absence is pretty substantial,” Alexander said. “We’re good enough around her that we have a good chance to do good things. But you pull a kid like that out of your lineup and it’s huge.”
LHS is 15-6 overall and 8-4 in district play. The Lady Farmers trail Plano West, Flower Mound and Plano in the district standings. Five District 6-6A teams are represented in The Dallas Morning News Class 6A top 10 — Plano West (1st), Flower Mound (2nd), Plano (4th), Lewisville (6th) and Plano East (7th).
If their first game without Gorsuch was an indication, the Lady Farmers may have what it takes to return to the playoffs without the player who has become synonymous with Lewisville softball. They pounded out 11 hits and trounced rival Marcus 11-2. Junior Makayla Corbin dominated in the pitching circle, allowing only five hits and striking out seven Lady Marauders. At the plate, she went 4-for-5 with two doubles and five runs batted in.
Alexander’s strategy of pitching Corbin and sophomore Taylor Groover extensively in non-district action might pay off at season’s end. The pair combined for seven early season wins and entered district play with valuable varsity-level pitching experience.
“I feel like we’ve done a better job of developing a pitching staff beyond Maribeth this year,” Alexander said. “The games that Makayla has pitched, she’s done a real good job. And Groover provides such a different look for hitters.”
Gorsuch’s missing bat is almost as impactful as her absence in the circle. The Lady Farmers’ four district losses have been by a combined nine runs. They tend to win via blowout and lose close games so her team-leading five home runs will be missed.
With Lady Farmer players frantically doing hitting drills around her, Alexander predicted that her team’s success or failure will be dictated by their performance at the plate.
“In this district, every game is like a playoff game,” Alexander said. “If our bats stay hot, we’ll be fine, if they go cold…..”