Photo by Jennifer Halley
Janessa Parnell slides to catch a pop fly in the Dragons’ first playoff game May 23, where they lost to the Comets.
As of Tuesday, May 29, 2018
DALLAS — The 2018 softball season ended for the Dragons May 23 in their first playoff game against the Crater Comets, losing 2-1.
In league, the girls had a flawless game streak, going 19-0, with two losses in the 28 games played overall.
This year’s ending for the Dragons looked different than last year, where the team made it to the state championship game, and they were hoping, almost expecting, to get there this season.
“We came out expecting to win rather than playing our game,” senior and first baseman Emily May said. “I also think that we were thinking we were gonna get back there this year, and sorta had that weight on our shoulders.”
That, combined with the pressure of playoffs, leaked into their game from the start.
“We got timid at the beginning and then it just sort of worked its way through,” she said.
Emotion laced her voice when she said this wasn’t how she had wanted her senior year to end, but that overall, it was a good season.
With both teams holding to a tight defensive end, the game started off slow, with things ramping up the last two innings. A big crowd turned out to watch the first playoff game and cheer their girls on, clapping and yelling out encouragements.
After the game, the girls gathered around, crying and embracing each other, the loss hitting them hard.
“The great thing about softball is anybody can win on any given day,” head coach Brandi Jackson said. “It’s not about strength, it’s not about talent; really it can come down to one-run ball games and that’s exactly what happened tonight.”
As the Dragons prepared for their last attempt to win at the bottom of the seventh, they attacked at bats with a last-ditch effort.
“I think we did a good job on putting pressure on them in that seventh inning,” Jackson said. “We did what we needed to do, we got base runners, and we just didn’t execute.”
“It’s a learning experience,” she added. “Those four seniors are going to be tremendously missed; they’re gonna be very hard to replace, but for those returning players, you just gotta learn from it and move on – and same thing for me, you gotta learn from it and move on and look forward to next year.”