PHOTOS BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
Dalton senior Alexis Vazquez keeps her eye on the ball.
Dalton’s Ava Fivecoat pitches March 28 during the season opener against Smithville.
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
After having their season opening game against Tuslaw canceled for rain, Dalton High School’s varsity softball team had to wait a few days to start the season against Smithville.
The Lady Dawgs won two games over the Smithies, despite the second game being suspended for rain.
Dalton shut out visiting Smithville 10-0 March 28. The Lady Dawgs had a 7-run second inning, which featured RBI singles from Lauren Falb, Callie Jones and Sydney Geiser. Lexi Vazquez singled in a run in the third inning and Joey Reynolds drove in another run in the fourth inning. Ava Fivecoat gave up three hits, issued one walk and struck out seven hitters.
“For our first game, I was pleased,” said Dalton’s head coach Zach McFarren. “Ava threw the ball well and we brought out bats with us. Syd Geiser was 3-for-3 and anchored a solid lineup. I thought overall our defense played well.”
A rain storm forced the suspension of the Lady Dawgs’ March 29 game at host Smithville in the fifth inning, but Dalton already did damage to make the final score 19-1. Reynolds smashed a 2-run home run in Dalton’s 6-run first inning. Smithville scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the first. The Lady Dawgs caught fire once again in the fourth inning when they plated 11 runs. In the inning, Vazquez recorded a 2-RBI single and Reynolds hit her second home run of the day to drive in three runs. Dalton added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Fivecoat gave up one run on four hits, issued two walks and fanned seven batters.
McFarren said his team’s goals for this season are to compete and improve each game. He added his players are working hard toward those goals each day and they are open to instruction.
Dalton’s seniors are expected to play a major role, both on the field and in a leadership position.
“We will look for our seniors to lead by example,” McFarren said. “They have been here for four years now and they know the game. They will set the tone that the rest of the girls will follow. That is a big responsibility and one that each should take seriously.”
McFarren noted some of his players who fans should watch this season.
“Joey Reynolds and Lexi Vazquez are both excellent at the plate and solid in the field,” McFarren said. “Ava Fivecoat will keep us in games with her pitching. We have some newcomers to the varsity team and each will add an important piece to our success.”
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