PHOTOS BY AMBER DOTY
Dalton Local Superintendent Jim Saxer threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday as the Lady Dawgs hosted the Tuslaw Mustangs for the season opener.
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
It was a perfect spring day for Dalton High School’s varsity softball team to open the 2021 season March 27 at home.
The Lady Dawgs had been waiting since 2019 to play another game due to the 2020 season being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only spoiler of the day for Dalton was being swept in their doubleheader against Tuslaw.
Before the start of the first game, Dalton Local Superintendent Jim Saxer threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The start of the softball season is important for the community because it, along with baseball, are sports where fans can feel safe attending games since they are played outdoors, there is plenty of room to sit an appropriate distance from others and fans can even watch from their vehicles.
Dalton fell to Tuslaw, 11-4, in the first game. Lexi Vazquez went 1-3 with a double and a walk. Tess Denning was 1-4 with an RBI. Angelique Kosier doubled. Joey Reynolds drove in one run. Amber Jager recorded two RBI. Anna Maglott drew two walks. Elle Mooney was the losing pitcher with four strikeouts, three walks and 13 hits in seven innings.
For Tuslaw, Lillian Bucher went 2-4 with two singles and one walk. Meridith Rankl finished 3-4 with one single and two doubles. Nadia Hoffman was 2-3 with two singles. Kaitlyn Mazzocca singled and doubled. Miriam Peterson and Abby Eberly both singled. Sara Hammontree doubled. Rankl was the winning pitcher with five strikeouts and one walk in three innings of work.
The Mustangs took the second game 18-8. Mooney singled and walked for Dalton. Abbi Snyder and Reynolds singled. Vazquez was 1-3 with a home run. Kosier also homered for the Lady Dawgs. Denning went 1-2 and was hit by a pitch. Callie Jones singled and walked. Cadence Casto took the loss with three strikeouts, seven walks and 16 hits. Bucher singled and walked three times for Tuslaw. Macaira Fox was 2-5 with one single, one home run and seven RBI. Rankl finished 4-5 with one single, two doubles, two home runs and four RBI. Hoffman had a homer and one RBI. Brandie Cooper singled and walked twice. Kaitlyn Mazzocca singled and drove in one run. Brooklyn Mazzocca was 1-3 with a single and a walk.
Peterson was 2-2 with two singles. Nicole Fath was 2-4 with a double. Cassidy Higgins was 1-1 with a single. Hoffman was the winning pitcher. She struck out nine hitters, issued two walks and gave up one home run in 5 1/3 innings.