Oak Grove ends Holtville softball seasonPublished 2:00am Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The trip back from Troy was a lot longer than the trip down after Oak Grove’s 2-1 South Central Regional victory ended Holtville’s 2013 softball journey.
“It was kind of hard to talk to them,” said Robert Rollan, coach of the Lady Bulldogs. “You’re looking at five seniors who have just played their last game. They were having a hard time listening to anybody.”
The Lady Bulldogs opened up the Troy-regional tournament with wins over Dadeville and Oak Grove, but lost to Corner (10-1) in the first qualifying game.
“I threw everything at them including the kitchen sink and they hit it,” said Rollan.
ToniBeth Garner took the loss.
The defeat moved the Lady Bulldogs directly into a rematch with Oak Grove (which eliminated Beauregard in the process) with a last-chance berth to the 4A state tournament on the line.
“We scored early and went up 1-0,” said Rollan. “They started off the fourth and sixth with doubles and were able to get both of them in.”
Holtville’s 1-0 lead turned into a 2-1 deficit.
“Bottom of the sixth, Hannah Ray started off with a hit,” said Rollan. “We tried to bunt her over, but struck out looking and then three and four popped up.”
Holtville rallied again in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, McKenzie Logan got on with a hit.
“We put a runner in and the next batter struck out,” said Rollan.
Despite the losses, Rollan knows his squad left their hearts on the field.
“We played great defense and did a great job pitching,” said Rollan. “We just went from hitting the ball against Dadeville and Oak Grove (the first time), maybe five or six hits, to not against Corner and Oak Grove (second time).”
McKenzie Logan and Kendall Cox led the Lady Bulldogs’ offense with two hits each (both went 1-for-3 twice on Saturday).
Hannah Ray was 2-for-3 in the loss to Oak Grove, getting a hit in her first and final at bat.
“Anytime you lose and your expectations are gone, it’s disappointing,” said Rollan. “I’m still very proud of them and what they did this year. They overachieved more than they could have.”
Rollan took up uniforms and had a meeting with the returning Lady Bulldogs earlier in the week.
“I told them the sky’s the limit,” said Rollan. “This is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and play within your own personality. There’s nothing that says you can’t be as good or even better than the last two years. You’ve just got to go to work.”
For Holtville, 2014 starts in June.