ATHENS — Rice head coach Julie Beale witnessed what she said was possibly the worst performances of senior pitcher Brittney Allen’s high school career.

Allen’s worst one-hitter was still plenty good.

Ditto regarding the defense.

Allen walked six, but struck out 12 and watched her other eight teammates play crisp defense behind her as the Lady Bulldogs topped the LaPoynor Lady Flyers, 8-3, in a Region III-1A bi-district game played Thursday night at Peg Cain Field. Lady Bulldog first baseman Anna Hernandez knocked in five runs.

“There have been some games where she’s completely carried us,” Beale said of Allen. “ ... It was completely opposite tonight. She didn’t have her best performance.”

Rice (20-4-1) will play the winner of the Douglass-Mount Enterprise game to be played Friday night in Henderson. LaPoynor’s season — which resulted in a playoff berth after the Lady Flyers upset district champion Martin’s Mill to get in — ends at 7-7. It was the last game for seniors Jessica Bundy, Devin Boyette and Amber Musselman.

“We just weren’t really expected to be the ones who got second place,” LaPoynor head coach Brian Leeper said. “But we beat Martin’s Mill to get second, and that was really the highlight of our season.”

The Lady Bulldogs turned in a trio of big plays in the playoff opener. In the first inning, leftfielder Alyssa Reyes backhanded a dying pop fly on the fifth pitch of the game to set the tone.

Third baseman Brittany Martin came up with maybe the Lady Bulldogs’ biggest defensive play in the fourth, when the Lady Flyers — trailing 4-1 — brought the tying run to the plate with one out. With runners on first and third, Stephanie Hutchins hit a grounder to Martin at third. K.K. Tarrant tried to score, but Martin’s throw cut her down at the plate for the second out. The Lady Flyers ended the inning without a run.

Martin did it again in the fifth, snagging a line drive and firing to first to double off a Lady Flyer baserunner for an inning-ending double play.

“We’re not just making routine plays,” Beale said. “We’re making some really advanced plays.”

Beale said Hernandez, hitting fifth, probably doubled her RBI output for the season with her performance.

She knocked in two runs with a first-inning single, then put the ball in play to drive in two more in the third and fifth innings. She finished her night with a clean single to rightcenter for her fifth RBI — all off just two hits. The Lady Flyers committed four errors.

The Lady Flyers got a run in the top of the second when Delores Stepp scored on an errant throw back to the pitcher, and plated two more on a single passed ball in the sixth. Their only hit off Allen came in the top of the fifth, when Ashley Little’s fly to the outfield dropped just under the glove of a diving Lacy Wyatt.

Recommended for you