Photo by Jennifer Halley
Kaelynn Simmons takes a swing during the April 4 rivalry game against Central.
As of Tuesday, April 10, 2018
DALLAS — Despite a low score for the rivalry game, Dallas (5-0, Mid-Willamette Conference, 11-0) remains undefeated after taking on the Central Panthers (2-1, MWC, 6-3) Wednesday afternoon.
Playing on their home field in Dallas, the Dragons rallied from the start, establishing a good defensive side to keep the Panthers from crossing the plate. Pitcher Kaelynn Simmons only allowed one run throughout the game.
“I felt like I did pretty well,” Simmons, who was named All-State Pitcher of the Year last year, said. “There was a few times where I needed to get ahead of the count and I didn’t, so that was a bit of a struggle.”
Because of the nature of a rivalry, she said this game put more pressure on the Dragons than usual.
“They’re one of the better ones in the conference,” Simmons said. “Rivalry games are really intense, and you want to beat them. (They’re) just more fun too.”
The rivalry games between Central and Dallas generally produce a bigger crowd than other games, and is something that brings the people of Polk County a little closer.
“I know that for the girls, it’s a big rivalry between Central and Dallas,” head coach Brandi Jackson said, “but the great thing about our conference is that we’ve always been so strong, and so when we come out here and we play anybody, it could be anybody’s game at any given day. (Central’s) a great team, and so making sure that we were playing our game instead of focusing on who’s on the other side is something we try to focus on.”
No stats were available at press time, but Jackson said that they could have done better on getting more people across the plate, a factor that contributed to their low score of 3-1.
Overall, the Dragons are proud of their win, and continue to look to the rest of the season, where they hope to keep up their overall winning streak.
“Just keeping up with the little things and making sure we have each other’s back,” catcher Adrian Lee said, “but I’m really excited, and I think we can do that.”