AUSTIN – The D’Hanis softball team is no stranger to falling behind early on in big games. The Cowgirls trailed Gail Borden County in the state semifinals 1-0 before scoring four unanswered runs in an eventual 4-1 victory yesterday afternoon.
On Wednesday, a comeback wasn’t in the cards.
Seeking to repeat as UIL Class A state champions, D’Hanis fell behind 2-0 in the first inning and never quite recovered, losing to Dodd City 8-4 in the state title game at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
After Tori Dotson gave the Lady Hornets the lead with a 2-run blast in the bottom of the first, Toni Burell cut the deficit in half with an RBI single in the top of the second. Dodd City responded by scoring the next six runs of the game, including a 5-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth. Burell, Koehler Ruiz and Marissa Santos each drove in runs over the final two frames, but it wasn’t enough.
“Not many kids in their high school career get to go to state three times pretty much in a row,” said Natalie McFadin, the lone senior on this year’s D’Hanis roster. “We probably would have gone last year if COVID wouldn’t have happened. I was one of those kids lucky enough to come back freshman, sophomore and senior year. It means a lot, even though we got second place.”
STILL PROUD: @DHanisAthletics senior Natalie McFadin and head coach Jose Martinez reflect on another incredible season of Cowgirls softball and expect to return to #UILState next year #KSATsports @InstantReplaySA pic.twitter.com/voYZVb96sc— Andrew Cely (@ACelySports) June 3, 2021
“You invest so much to get to this point, and you feel bad for [the girls],” head coach Jose Martinez said. “That’s a pretty good team [we faced], and we knew that. They made some plays, and we didn’t make the plays today, unfortunately. They were the better team. I feel bad for my girls, but I told them that there are a bunch of teams in the state of Texas who would switch spots with them right now.”
Thirteen of the fourteen players on this year’s roster will return for next season. Martinez said he expects the team to compete for the championship again next year. D’Hanis finishes this season with an 18-8-1 overall record.