The new high-school softball rankings came out on June 20 and for the first time this season Dallas Center-Grimes was not at the top of the list in Class 4A.
After starting the season with 18 consecutive wins, the Fillies dropped three games in six days and fell to No. 6 in the rankings and had a meeting with Winterset, the new No. 1 team.
"We knew after we got beat on Monday and last night particularly that we were going to drop, I mean, rightfully so," DC-G coach Steve Schlafke said. "Knowing that we were going to play them, we knew they were going to be number one.
The DC-G softball team got what it needed with a 5-3 win over Winterset and are 2-0 this season against the Huskies. Junior Paige Lowary pitched all seven innings in the win and was 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run and two RBIs.
"It was important for us to come out tonight and at least make a statement as far as how hard we’re going to play and how hard we’re going to compete and winning was kind of the icing on the cake," Schlafke said.
Lowary was perfect through the first three innings giving up no hits and striking out three batters and she also scored the first run of the game in the bottom half of the third to give the Fillies the first lead of the game. Taylor Benshoof, the first batter of the fourth inning for the Huskies, spoiled the perfect-game bid for Lowary and also tied the game at one with a home run.
The Fillies took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth when junior Dani Heritage scored on a double by sophomore Allie O’Brien, who went 3-for-3 in the game with one RBI. The Fillies extended the lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning with Lowary’s homer.
The game looked as though it might get out of control for the Fillies in the top of the sixth inning when two runs scored with no one out, but the Fillies recovered defensively with a double play where Winterset’s Savannah Marker popped out to Dani Heritage at first base and Sammie Nicholson failed to tag up and was thrown out at second base. The inning ended two batters later when Chelsie Benshoof was thrown out at the plate trying to give Winterset the lead.
"Our defense has been stellar all season long, tonight we had a couple of mistakes that we made that really cost us probably at least two runs," Schlafke said. "Two runs in that one inning that tied it and almost gave them the lead was all because of some mistakes that we made."
With the game tied at three going into the bottom of the second Rachel Lowary ended a long at bat with a walk to lead off the inning. She eventually scored on a single by Jackie Peyton to give the Fillies the lead once again and Peyton extended the lead scoring on a single by Paige Lowary one batter later.
The Huskies went three-up-three-down in the top of the seventh and the Fillies sealed the victory.
Paige Lowary pitched all seven innings and gave up three hits with one earned run and struck out six batters.
Schlafke said he thought that Lowary had a big-time game.
"She really battled well, she threw strikes tonight, got ahead in the count… and then offensively going 4-for-4 that’s a pretty big night as well," Schlafke said. "She was big time tonight and that’s what we expect out of her."
After the win against Winterset the Fillies went on to win the next three games at the University of Iowa against Solon, West Davenport and Iowa City Regina before losing their final game in Iowa City against Wellman Mid-Prairie. The bats were working for the Fillies in the game against West Davenport as they combined for four home runs out of Paige Lowary, Taylor Draisey, Lexi Rosa and Jackie Peyton in a 9-1 victory.
On Monday, the Fillies won a close game against Norwalk 1-0. Selena Nolte scored the game’s only run on an RBI by O’Brien.