Video: Tessa Cantrell's highlights Belton High School
See the Fort Bend Christian junior hurler in action for the Eagles.
Entering the final month of the softball regular season, all nine 2016 Texas state champions are proving to be serious about title defenses.
The five UIL titleholders and four more from TAPPS seem intent on proving last spring's success could be a stepping stone to another championship this season.
Three schools are attempting to win a third consecutive state title.
Here's a look at how each champion is doing so far this season:UIL
returned 10 of last season's roster of 15 and the experience is paying off. Keller is 15-4-1 for the season and 4-1 in District 3-6A. The Lady Indians have outscored opponents 144-52.Class 5A: Birdville (North Richland Hills)
graduated only three from last season's roster and has been making a mockery of District 8-5A, outscoring opponents 83-0 in six league wins. Overall, the Lady Hawks are 15-3-1 and have a differential of 115 runs.Class 4A: La Grange
ran its streak of consecutive wins in district play to 63 with a 10-0 triumph at Caldwell to improve to 3-0 in District 20-4A and 13-7 overall. Senior Darby Fitzpatrick
, one of 10 returnees from the state title club, tossed a one-hit shutout.Class 3A: West
pitcher Danielle Nors
went 35-4 last year with two shutouts in the state final four. This year she is 13-1 with an 0.92 ERA, helping West to a 18-2-1 record overall and a 6-0 mark in District 19-3A. Emeri Eubanks
leads West with a .556 batting average.Class 2A
, going for its third consecutive state crown, returned 14 from last season's roster of 18. No problem so far, the Comanches have outscored opponents 193-15 in forging a 15-1-1 record that includes a 6-0 mark in District 28-2A.TAPPS
Class 5A: Incarnate Word (San Antonio)
even with a stumble in its district opener is 17-5-1 overall behind the pitching of Michelle Iparraguirre
and the batting of Morgan Barr
. In addition to winning last year's state crown, the Shamrocks also prevailed in 2015.Class 4A: Fort Bend Christian Academy (Sugar Land)
has rattled off seven straight wins and is 1-0 in district, 14-6 for the season with a 94-56 advantage in runs. The Lady Eagles are five-time state champions.Class 3A: John Paul II (Schertz)
is 17-3 and 1-0 in district, leaning heavily on junior Gabbie Kowalik
with a 14-1 pitching record as well as three home runs. The Guardians also won a state crown in 2015.Class 2A: St. Paul (Shiner)
won its 11th state title last season and is also coming off a state girls basketball title earlier this month.