University of Dallas softball headed to Southwestern University for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament this past weekend. The Crusaders lost both games against their conference opponents.
“Our attitude going into the SCAC tournament is always different,” junior infielder and co-Captain Mel Savala said. “This is the weekend we work so hard for, and once we got there, knowing how we played against Southwestern, it was just pure excitement.”
In their first game of the tournament, Dallas faced three seed and host Southwestern. The UD offense started strong by scoring two runs in the first inning, but failed to score for the remainder of the contest.
After responding with one run in the first, the Pirates chipped away with a pair of two-run innings, bringing the final score to 5-2.
Freshman shortstop Alicia Enciso notched three base hits in game one, while Savala and freshman outfielder Liz Cordova drove in runs with one hit each.
The Crusaders faced elimination against the number four seed Centenary College. Dallas’ offense began the scoring once again, and freshman pitcher Maggie Watts pitched six shutout innings while striking out three.
Despite the promising start, Dallas’ season ended in heartbreak. In the bottom of the seventh inning with UD leading 3-0, Centenary scored two runs, cutting the lead to one. With the following hitters loading the bases, Centenary walked off with a grand slam, finishing the game with a 6-3 lead.
“The game didn’t go as we hoped, but our team played some of the best ball we have played all season,” Watts said. “I think I’m speaking for everyone when I say it was nice to surprise some people.”
Sophomore catcher Kaitlyn Lazarek went 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI, and Savala earned two more hits as well as her second RBI of the tournament.
The loss against Centenary ended the season for the Dallas softball team, who finished the year with an 8-32 record. Dallas now looks to build on the positive aspects of this season and move forward to next year.
“This season may not have gone as we had originally planned, but we did give our hearts and souls to this season,” Savala said. “My co-captain, Tera Espinosa, and I are so excited for our senior year. We have a lot of great talent returning and a lot of new talent on the way.”