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Dallas’ Kassidy Totten, left, tries to place the tag on West Albany’s Kylie Bellis in Friday’s 9-0 loss.
May 08, 2013
It was just a swing, a typical motion for a high school softball player.
But that's all it took to tear then-Dallas sophomore Lizzie Posey's labrum -- a major injury to the shoulder -- chip a piece of bone, and end her season three games into the Dragon softball team's 2012 Mid-Willamette Conference title run.
Posey said it wasn't the injury that was the hardest to overcome.
Dallas’ Lizzie Posey smiles on her way to the plate after hitting a grand slam against Lebanon May 1.
"The surgery part was the easiest part," the junior said of the procedure that didn't allow her to move her arm for six weeks. "The rest of the season, it was what taught me a lot about myself -- it made me have to be the person that had to let the whole team know that I wasn't really sad not to be playing.
"I had to make sure I stayed a leader and not let my teammates down."
More than a year has passed since then, making what happened in Dallas' 17-3, five-inning throttling of Lebanon May 1 a feat that Posey saw as a milestone.
With the bases loaded and the Dragons already well ahead in the bottom of the fourth inning, senior Caitlyn McCarron (.603 batting average, eight home runs) stepped up the plate with two home runs already on her resume for the contest.
Not wanting to see a third, Lebanon (5-17, 4-13) intentionally walked her and allowed a Dragons run with the free pass.
Posey, next at bat, didn't hesitate to show what she could do, drilling the first pitch over the fence for not just a grand slam -- her first home run of the season -- but a sense of redemption.
"It felt like an accomplishment almost, knowing how hard I worked to get back," she said. "It felt pretty good."
Posey's home run -- along with Dallas' 25-0, five-inning drilling of Woodburn April 30 -- were two of the highs for a Dragons team that saw its 15-game winning streak come to an end Friday.
With a 9-0 loss to rival West Albany, Dallas (19-3, 16-2) also likely saw its chance at consecutive conference titles crumble to the Bulldogs, who captured two of three games in the season series with the victory.
Dallas won the last meeting, 7-4, but West Albany (20-3, 17-1) again used stellar pitching from freshman Kelsey Broadus (11 strikeouts, three hits) to keep the Dragons' bats quiet in Round 3.
The Bulldogs won the teams' opener, 1-0, back on April 2.
"It was just one of those games," Posey said of Friday's loss, which puts West Albany, ranked No. 2 in the Oregon School Activities Association power rankings, in the driver's seat for the MWC title.
Despite the loss, Posey & Co. don't plan on staying defeated for long.
Dallas' team chemistry is just too good to do that, she said.
"We didn't give up - throughout the game, we thought we could still score runs," she said. "After the game, our coaches were just saying, `This is fine.'
"We have another week ahead of us -- and that's getting ready for the playoffs."
UPDATE: Dallas captured an 11-1 victory over Corvallis Tuesday after the I-O went to press. McCarrron belted two home runs in the contest to give her 10 long balls on the season.
CENTRAL WINS THREE STRAIGHT: The Panthers picked up three key Oregon West Conference wins, defeating Philomath 5-1 May 1, Cascade 14-6 Friday and Taft 5-4 Monday. Freshman Kelsi Christenson added to her school record single-season home run total with her ninth of the year in the win over Philomath, and Maddy Pape added her own blast in Friday's big victory over the Cougars. Jenny Cole picked up all three wins in the circle for Central (13-9, 10-3), which clinched second place in the conference with two league games left.
PERRYDALE SPLITS IN LEAGUE PLAY: The Pirates fell to Western Mennonite 6-2 May 1 but rebounded with an 18-4, six-inning win over Waldport Friday. The Pirates (6-3, 9-6) are now tied for second place in the Special District 3 standings with four games left. UPDATE: Perrydale dropped a tough. 19-1 nonleague decision to Dayton Tuesday after the I-O went to press.