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Fillie softball falls short in state semifinal action

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporter
DCG's Molly Cooney with a hit during the state tournament quarterfinal round inside Harlan Rogers Sports Complex. PHOTO BY ANDREW BROWN/DALLAS COUNTY NEWS

Following their first state tournament quarterfinal win since 2015, the Dallas Center-Grimes softball team was poised to repeat that performance in the semifinal round as they battled seventh-seeded Winterset Wednesday, July 29.

Despite nearly matching their hit total that produced a win in the quarterfinal round, six DCG hits weren’t enough to push across enough offense as the Fillies’ hopes for a title were dashed in a 2-1 defeat from Harlan Rogers Sports Complex. Right from the get-go, the Fillies had quite the challenge ahead of them as Winterset established themselves early by plating a first-inning run.

The Fillies ended up answering rather quickly as they equalized the game at 1-1 the following inning. Two straight singles led to Riley Feeley stepping up to the plate in the bottom of the second. Following just one pitch, Feeley deposited her 13th hit of the season into center-field brought the game back even. It appeared as though momentum might be back on the side of DCG but whatever momentum that was there, seemed to go away once the fourth inning arrived. That’s when Winterset managed to scrape across what would be the final run of the game on just one hit in the inning, thus taking the 2-1 lead that would eventually fall for a Huskie victory.

The Fillies tried as hard as they could but were shut down to just one hit across the final three innings of play. The frustrating part about that is that pitching and defense by DCG also held the Huskies to a mere one hit across the final trio of innings as well. Instead of punching their ticket to a fourth state title game appearance in school history, the Fillies ended up falling by that 2-1 final.

While Feeley took the spotlight for drawing DCG’s only run of the game, her 2-for-3 night at the plate was just part of the overall offensive output for the Fillies. Seniors Riley Hall and Kamryn O’Brien, as well as juniors Kylie Merical Maria Hendricks, also pitched in one hit for the contest to round out the six total hits for the game. The Fillies overall had a game that might have resulted in a win most nights as the team suffered just four strikeouts all game long. They did however strand eight batters on base throughout the contest.

Inside the circle, senior hurler Lani Gannon went the distance, pitching all seven innings while holding a Winterset team averaging 9.7 hits and 6.5 runs per outing to just seven hits and one run Wednesday afternoon. Gannon and the defense sure did their part as three strikeouts (57th on the season) and solid defense helped to strand 11 Winterset batters on base. Through 106 pitches thrown, Gannon did issue six walks and allowed seven hits but employed a bend but not break mentality with just two earned runs allowed in the game

The loss drops DCG’s record to 20-10 but doesn’t end the season just yet. The Fillies will still have one more battle to address in 2020 and it will be the second third-place consolation game in school history for DCG. That will mean taking on fourth-seeded North Scott for the first time ever in the third-place consolation game on Thursday, July 30 beginning at 6 p.m.