No one wants to lose, but if you have to lose to someone, it might as well be to the top-ranked team in the state of Texas.
Dawson entered the best-of-three series against No. 1 state-ranked and No. 4 nationally-ranked Barbers Hill (30-0). Now, the Lady Eagles, who share the same mascot with Dawson, are 32-0 and headed to the Class 4A state softball tournament after sweeping Dawson with convincing 11-4 and 12-3 wins.
Despite the disappointing losses, Dawson has made giant strides over the past two seasons under head coach David McCorkle. The Lady Eagles were never a genuine playoff contender until McCorkle arrived. Dawson made the playoffs for the first time in school history last year, won two playoff games for the first time, and advanced to the third round before being eliminated.
This season, Dawson made history again by advancing to the 4A Region III finals coming up one-game short of the state softball tournament.
Barbers Hill took advantage of some early jitters in game one by scoring three unearned runs for a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Dawson managed to score a run in their half of the inning to cut the lead to 1-0.
Jillian Guse opened up the bottom of the first with a single and scored on a single to right field by Rose Sullivan.
Barbers Hill added three more runs in the top of the third to build a 6-1 advantage.
With Barbers Hill leading 7-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, Dawson pushed across three more runs to make a game of it.
Ashley Langston walked and Guse singled putting two runners on base to set up a single that sent Langston across the plate. Rylee Rodriguez sent a shot to right field to clear the bases to cut the margin to 7-4 before Barbers Hill retired the side.
That would be all the offense Dawson could muster as Barbers Hill added four more runs in the top of the seventh to post the 11-4 final score.
Dawson managed only seven total hits led by Guse who was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Rodriquez was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Sullivan was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Dawson starter Kaylan Howard took the loss in the pitching circle after allowing five hits, six runs, and one walk.
Barbers Hill 12 – Dawson 3
Dawson needed to get a win to push the best-of-three series to a third game, but Barbers Hill made sure that didn’t happen as they closed out the series with a 12-3 victory.
Dawson was able to get only four hits off senior Randi Rupp while Barbers Hill pounded out 12 hits resulting in 12 runs.
The Lady Eagles of Dawson scored one run in the top of the first as Jillian Guse opened the game with a single to centerfield, was sacrificed to second, stole third base, and scored on an error by the catcher for a 1-0 lead.
That would be the closest Dawson would get as Barbers Hill scored four runs in the bottom of the second, five runs in the fourth for a 9-1 advantage.
Dawson added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth when Rylee Rodriguez belted a two-run homer.
But Barbers Hill answered with a pair of runs in their half of the fifth to push the score to 11-3. Jade Lewis closed out the scoring for the Lady Eagles with a solo home run to make the final score 12-3 to end the season for Dawson.
Guse led the offense going 2-for-4 with one run scored. Rodriguez was 1-for3 with one run scored and two RBIs. Ashley Langston got the only other hit for Dawson.