Cove’s season ends with playoff sweep by Duncanville
By TJ MAXWELL
GLEN ROSE – Not much went right for the Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs in their fourth-consecutive trip to the playoffs as six errors contributed to their 9-1 loss to Duncanville and subsequent sweep in the bi-district round of the UIL State Softball Playoffs Friday at Lady Tiger Field in Glen Rose.
The Lady Dawgs were holding their own early, locked in a 1-1 tie with the Lady Panthers, but an error-filled five-run third inning put the Cove softballers in a hole they could not dig out of.
“We thought that if we got some pressure on them, things would be different but we just didn’t get that stuff done,” said Cove head softball coach Bryan Waller. “If you have more errors than you do hits, it’s tough to win a ball game.”
The Lady Dawgs allowed an infield fly ball to land in to put one runner on to begin the five-run bottom of the third before another single by Duncanville senior Scout Gregory got past Cove freshman shortstop Jackie Clay to put two runners on.
A line drive single by sophomore pitcher Saleen Donohoe off the hand of Cove third baseman Peyton Choate then allowed senior Lauryn Lewis to score from third after some defensive confusion by the Lady Dawgs.
A two-RBI single by senior Lizy Gonzalez then knocked home both runners for a 4-1 Duncanville lead.
Two more errors allowed freshman Briana Martinez to reach and Gonzalez to score before another fielding error allowed Martinez to score for the 6-1 Duncanville advantage.
“It was extremely tough (to overcome) said Waller. “We were tied 1-1 and the first batter should have been out but we had a miscommunication on the pop up. She got on then the floodgates opened. We stress winning every pitch and to do that you have to be mentally tough.”
Despite the error-filled third inning, the Lady Dawgs held the powerful Lady Panthers’ bats in check most of the night but they could only muster two hits themselves.
“We knew we had to come out and start better than we did last time. Defensively we did but offensively we still struggled. We hit the ball into the air and made too many easy catches for them.
A sacrifice fly by Duncanville broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the first inning before an RBI double by Cove senior pitcher Elana Montanez again knotted the contest at 1-1. Montanez scored freshman Maddie Scribner, who reached on a catcher interference call.
An RBI groundout by Donohoe scored pinch runner Rubi Diaz for another run for Duncanville in the bottom of the fourth. Lewis singled to reach and put Diaz on the base paths before another Cove error allowed Gregory to reach before the RBI groundout.
Cove sophomore Jayda Carter managed a single in the sixth but the Lady Dawgs couldn’t get her home.
Two more runs score in the bottom of the inning when Diaz scored on a passed ball and Gregory scored on the subsequent errant throw.
The Lady Dawgs put Jackie Clay on the first base with a hit batsman to lead off the seventh before a groundout and fly out ended Cove’s season.
The Lady Dawgs lose a majority of their infield to graduation in pitcher Montanez, 1st baseman Riley Collier and third baseman Peyton Choate. They also lose reserve player Alyssa Douglas to graduation.
“The seniors are a great group of girls,” said Waller. “They work hard, they have fun and they want to succeed. “I think there’s still a lot of growth left for them. They will be missed because they have been on varsity for the majority of their baseball career. Their experience will be missed but, hopefully, they’ve left a foundation that other ones can follow.”
The Lady Dawgs return five starters in junior Addie Cook, Clay, sophomore Rylie Radigan, Carter and sophomore Kristen Wasiak. They also return freshmen Angelica Montanez, Misi-Kupulo Ismael, and Scribner; sophomores Nazhoni Wyss and Maria Hanna; and juniors Haley Petet, Mikayla Tucker and McKenna Miller.