By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– Both Dallas and Central were riding some momentum entering their highly anticipated rivalry match-up Wednesday in Dallas.
The Lady Dragons, riding a 10-0 start and 4-0 record in the Mid-Willamette Conference start to the year were facing a Central team with a freshman in the circle that had no fear facing their rival school as the Panthers came up the 99 riding a four-game winning streak stemming from their 7-5 win over 6A number five team in Grants Pass last week in Medford.
“I mean I was pretty calm I feel like, just going into it,” said Central’s Emily Cole on approaching the game Wednesday afternoon.
The freshman was going up some aggressive hitters like Kaelynn Simmons, Lauren Wallace and quick girls like Jordan Dipple and Zoe Whitlow, but Cole and her defense challenged those Lady Dragon bats into making the right plays at the right time to try to beat them.
“I felt like we did a pretty good job of keeping it up front, keeping the ball out in front of us and having good energy throughout the game,” said Cole on the defense.
Whitlow had two RBIs that accounted for the three Dallas runs in the game, both as solo RBI hits off of doubles with Lauren Wallace having a RBI single herself; but Whitlow spoke to how important those hits were as Central were finding ways to keeping the Dragon defense true and tough.
“It’s good. It was really good, they kept hitting us in spots where we can’t really get too, which is hard but I mean it was good,” said Withlow as the Panther’s Peyton Shimanek’s RBI single made it 3-1 by mid-way through the game. “Central’s always our toughest competitor so it’s always nice to get out there and get ahead in the count and everything. I think we all have a lot of fun with these games so that kind of ties in with everything as well.”
Four total runs were scored in the first of three meetings for the rivals as both team’s defense’s kept the 3-1 score in tact coming out of the game as Dallas improves to 11-0 on the season with the squad traveling to Woodburn Friday to take on the Bulldogs and the Panther’s fall to 6-3 and 2-1 in league with Central hosting Corvallis Friday in Independence. Both games are at 4:30pm
Photos By Jeremy McDonald