EUGENE — The Dallas Dragons softball team fell 5-1 against the Ridgeview Ravens at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene at the state championship game on Saturday.
The team may not have clinched the title, but taking second place in state is something to be proud of, said head coach Brandi Jackson.
“I’m proud of the girls; they worked hard to get here,” she said after the game. “We can’t hang our heads — we’re the last two teams standing in the 5A.”
The girls opened the season wanting that spot in playoffs, and they made it.
“I think we had a really good season,” said freshman Ruby Earhart, who plays first base. “Our goal from the beginning of the season was to get our kinks out and that’s what we did. And we made it all the way here, and I think that’s something to be proud of.”
Defensively, the Dragons (23-6 overall, 14-2 Mid-Willamette Conference) held the Ravens (24-2 overall, 13-2 Intermountain Conference) to no runs for the first two innings.
Senior Kaelynn Simmons took the loss on the mound, striking out five and allowing five runs off six hits.
Sophomore Morgan Dipple nabbed the team’s only run of the day, coming across the plate off a single from sophomore Madeline Doig.
The team collected one run off five hits, with junior Zoe Whitlow, senior Jenessa Parnell, Doig and sophomore Kacey Jordan each collecting a triple-base hit. Senior Adrian Lee also added a hit.
It was the Dragons’ struggle at-bats that led to the loss.
“I think our bats just weren’t on like they usually are,” said Earhart. “We’re good at getting out and setting up the play and smashing the ball, but I think today just wasn’t our best day for hitting, and we have those days sometimes, just sucks that it was today.”
Was there anything the team could have done in the box to pick up the energy?
Jackson doesn’t like to dwell on that.
“You know, you can always say, ‘what if, if we would have done this, if we would have done that,’= but if you look at the scoreboard, we had almost as many hits as them, no errors, we just didn’t have hits in timely situations like they did,” Jackson said.