HILLSBORO –The Dallas Dragons softball team did it.
Winning 7-4 at Hillsboro (27-2 overall, 17-0 Northwest Oregon Conference) on Tuesday, the Dragons (23-5 overall, 14-2 Mid-Willamette Conference) punched its ticket to the state championship game Saturday at Jane Sanders Stadium at University of Oregon, opening at 2 p.m.
There, the team will face Ridgeview (23-2 overall, 13-2 Intermountain Conference) for the state title.
A big crowd of Dragons supporters flooded the field after Tuesday's win to congratulate the state championships-bound team.
Head coach Brandi Jackson couldn’t stop smiling.
“I have a very, very good group of kids,” she said. “They just work their butts off every single day, day in and day out, and I can’t think of a better team that deserves this because of that. They put in the work and it paid off, so I’m a happy camper.”
Last year, the team lost in the playoffs, losing 2-1 against Crater. The year before that, the team lost 12-7 to Marist Catholic in the state championships.
Getting a chance to go again and fight for the state title this year is exciting, said senior Emma Classen.
“I think our hard work has paid off (this season), and we definitely earned a spot, and we’re excited to see how we do on Saturday,” she said.
Tuesday’s game opened with a Maddie Doig run across the plate, followed by a run from the Spartans in the second inning to knot the game 1-1.
Senior Kaelynn Simmons hit a double that brought Classen across the plate in the third inning, followed by a sophomore Kacey Jordan Double, who brought in Ana Garus.
In the sixth inning, the Dragons up 4-2, Classen hit a double that brought in junior Jenessa Parnell and freshman Genevieve Kelly to nab two more runs for the team.
In the seventh inning, the Spartans began to fight back by sending two runners across the plate. But the Dragons didn’t falter, and a solid defense kept Hillsboro from scoring any more runs.
Simmons took the win on the mound by striking out six, and allowed four runs on seven hits.
For information on the game, and to purchase tickets, visit osaa.org/activities/sbl.