Dale captures 10th straight regional fastpitch softball championship
DALE – The Dale Lady Pirates are headed to state as the regional fastpitch softball champions for the 10th year in a row.
Three Dale pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout as one of those hurlers, starter Addie Bell, homered in a 12-0 rout of Mangum in 4 ½ innings on Friday for a Class 2A regional crown.
“I really think we are playing our best softball right now at the right time. I think we've got a really good team,” said Dale head coach Andy Powell, whose squad reached the state finals last year. “I think we're quite a bit better.”
That state finalist team had lost eight seniors from previous 2018 state title team.
“Experience is really a factor. We have eight starters (from last season) that are a year older,” Powell said. “I feel like we're better than last year, but (Class) 2A is loaded.”
Bell worked the first three innings from the circle, allowing three hits and two walks while recording a strikeout. She was backed by some strong errorless defense as shortstop Emilia Idleman cleanly fielded a ball, stepped on second and fired to first for a 6-3 double play in the second to end a Mangum threat.
Anna Hester worked the fourth inning and Karleigh Landreth pitched the fifth. Hester surrendered a leadoff single in the fourth, but retired the next three batters while Landreth retired the side in the fifth, including one on a strikeout.
Meanwhile from the plate, the Lady Pirates pounded out 12 hits with catcher Danyn Lang leading the way with a 3-for-3 performance with a sacrifice bunt, two runs batted in and a run scored.
Third baseman Madison Conley and Idleman also contributed two hits each. Conley was 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored and Idleman ended up 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Bell clubbed her two-run homer well over the center field wall in the second to cap a three-run first inning for Dale. She walked in her other two plate appearances.
Designated player Jayci Powell drove home three runs for the Lady Pirates off a two-run single in the third inning and a sacrifice fly in the fourth as she finished 1-for-2. First baseman Karsen Griggs also knocked in a run while going 1-for-1 with a pair of walks.
Lang triggered the first-inning uprising with a one-out infield single. After a stolen base, Lang scored off Conley's single. Then with two outs, Bell made it 3-0 with her two-run blast.
Dale then blew the game open with a six-run third inning, highlighted by a Griggs run-scoring single, Powell's two-RBI single, Lang's squeeze-bunt to bring in a run and Idleman's single to center.
The three-run fourth featured Powell's sacrifice fly to right field and Lang's RBI single up the middle.
The Lady Pirates, 34-4 on the season, will play in the 2A State Tournament at the Hall of Fame Facility in Oklahoma City. Dale was scheduled to have a tune-up game at Newcastle on Monday in preparation for state.
Note: The Lady Pirates possess five state fastpitch championships – 2003, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Dale also owns five state slowpitch titles – 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.