High school softball: Dunbar takes district with 9-3 win over Tates Creek

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMay 8, 2014 

With a 9-3 triumph at Tates Creek, Dunbar won more than a softball game Thursday night.

"That's a district clincher, and that's a good thing for us," Coach Jenny Hill said. "Regular-season champs feels good."

The Lady Bulldogs (13-11-2) wrapped up the 43rd District by besting the Creekers for a second time this season. Dunbar won 17-7 on April 22.

Dunbar had to scrap a little harder this time, but took control from the outset by plating two runs in each of the first two innings.

One-two hitters Stephanie Harvey and Tia Wilson got things rolling with back-to-back singles to open the game. That turned into a daily double of sorts, leading to two runs.

One run scored on a wild pitch, the other on Brooke Hill's sacrifice fly.

"Our team needs a lot of motivation, especially in the beginning of the game," said Harvey, who finished with three of Dunbar's 12 hits. "So Tia and I try to help out as much as possible when we can."

Harvey and Wilson each singled in a run in the second inning to make it 4-0.

Harvey said she's seeing the ball well. "I'm not in a slump right now."

The Lady Commodores (8-14) made things interesting by putting up three runs in the third inning.

Two scored on Kenzi Groft's double. Breeann Whitson singled in another.

That was all the Creekers would get against Halie Morgan, though.

Dunbar took a 5-3 lead in the fifth. Sydney Arnold tripled off the top of the left-field fence, then scored on a wild pitch. Arnold also had a second-inning double.

"Full of surprises," the No. 9 hitter in the order said.

Dunbar added another run in the sixth and three in the seventh to pull away.

"I thought we did pretty good besides in the middle innings," Arnold said.

"We hit the ball really well and we played as a team," Harvey said.

Creek Coach John Groft, who announced earlier this week that he will retire at the end of the season, thinks his team has some positive things going on despite the loss.

"We had a game (Wednesday) night against LCA; we lost to them," he said. "We had a big meeting at the end of the game and I think we allowed everyone to kind of express what was on their chest, and it really made us a lot closer team today. I just think going forward, even the girls are saying right after this game, that we're a much different team than we were (Wednesday) night. Which is good."

Jenny Hill thinks her district champs have their best games ahead.

"We always have room for improvement," she said. "There's always ways that we need to get better.

"Right now, they're hitting well. But, defensively we still have gaps, and we're missing signs. We're not at the top of our game, so we definitely have things that we need to do better."

Dunbar 9, Tates Creek 3

Dunbar 220 011 3—9 12 1

Tates Creek 003 000 0—3  6 4

Morgan and Ferguson; Groft, Garner (5) and Whitson. W—Morgan. L—Groft. 2B—D: Arnold, Brown; TC: Groft. 3B—D: Arnold, Harvey.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229.Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL.Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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