The Dallas Center-Grimes softball team entered the state softball tournament in Fort Dodge as the No. 1 team in Class 4A and as the favorites to win the state title this week. The Fillies got off to a hot start and beat LeMars 12-2 in six innings in their first-round game.
LeMars was unranked going into the tournament, but did knock off the No. 2 team in Class 4A, Fort Dodge, to get to the state tournament and DC-G coach Steve Schlafke said the Fillies didn’t take them lightly.
"We knew that they were going to come in and play the game," Schlafke said. "They had a good approach, they put the ball in play, made us play defense and put us in a position where we had to make plays or make us make mistakes."
The Fillies didn’t make many mistakes as they only gave up two runs, the first of which was on a squeeze bunt in the top of the fourth.
DC-G pitcher Paige Lowary led off the game at the plate and drilled the ball all the way to the fence in center field for a double. The Fillies scored four runs in the first inning and three more in the bottom of the second.
Paige Lowary had six strikeouts in six innings while only giving up four hits and two earned runs. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Fillies scored another run, courtesy of a solo homerun by center fielder, Rachel Lowary, which was helped over the fence in left-center field by the strong breeze, and put the Fillies up on the Bulldogs by a score of 8-1.
"When it came off the bat, I thought it was a pop fly," Rachel Lowary said. "All of the sudden it was over (the fence)."
Rachel Lowary ended the game 3-for-3 at the plate.
Allison O’Brien went 3-for-4 in the game with four RBIs. Tabitha Taylor went 1-for-3 and had two RBIs.
In the next game, Norwalk defeated West Delaware by a score of 8-0 and will be the Fillies’ opponent in the semifinals. The semifinals are on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge.