By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.– It’s games like this where you learn how to improve moving into the postseason.
Besides scheduling games like this as a tune-up for the postseason, you schedule these kinds of games to see how you can improve moving forward.
Facing a Top 10 6A team in Grants Pass, Dallas rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead following a Zoe Withlow entering the bottom of the fourth inning. But, the Dragon defense that has been on-point for the majority of the season, had some weakeness’ pointed out as the Lady Cavemen tied the game up and took the lead entering the sixth inning and didn’t relinquish that lead as they took advantage of that the Dallas defense was giving them.
“The good thing about having Kaelynn (Simmons) is that she’s a great pitcher and sometimes she doesn’t have her A-Game and we got to learn about how to play tough defense behind her and she got to know when she’s ahead in the count she’s getting the job done,” said Head Coach Brandi Jackson. “All-Around on defense, we just got to fine-tune a few things so that when we do get into the playoffs, we are taking care of business and playing our game.”
And that’s the golden thing about Monday’s game, yes a win would have been nice as they loaded up the bases in the Top half of the seventh inning with two outs with an opportunity to do mount a comeback as they did Tuesday at home versus Central, but the 8-4 defeat to the hands of Grants Pass does serve as an eye-opening game in terms of how they can get better entering the playoffs next week.
“It was definitely an eye-opener for sure. We have a few things to work on mentality when it comes to games like this, but it’s definitely a wake-up call for all of us,” said Withlow. “We haven’t really seen any really good competition like this. Medford helps a lot, this helps even more than ever.”
Monday’s game was their first defeat of the season, 25-1 right now. But there’s still an opportunity to shake this off before the playoffs begins as they host Taylor Redman, Taylor Holmquist and West Salem Wednesday at home with the Dragons looking to build some positive vibes to close out the regular season.
And it starts with just playing the game, their way against teams similar to how they are.
“We just have to play our game. that’s really it. We have to stay loud and we can’t get into our heads as much because that just destroys us mentally,” said Withlow. “We just have to play our game.”
“Just facing a little better competition than what we’ve seen in the circle and getting balls hit at us harder and more consistently and just playing our game because we have all the tools,” adds Jackson. “We just got to make sure that we bring them.”
First pitch Wednesday is at 5pm at Dallas High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald