Posted Date: 05/23/2023
Tue, May 23, 2023
DODD CITY -- Being back at State in softball wouldn't surprise many with regard to Class 1A Dodd City.
With this season's advance, the Lady Hornets have now reached the season-ending event during five of the last six completed softball seasons -- winning a State title in 2021.
However, finishing this season in Austin again hasn't always been a given.
"We had a rough start this year," said Lindsey Mauppin, senior starting pitcher and shortstop and East Central softball and cross country signee.
"We are kind of unexpected this year," said Mauppin. "We thought we were going to have a down year, but some freshman have stepped up."
"This year, we started off slowly," agreed Dodd City manager Chad Crossland. "We had to move people into positions they hadn't played. It took a while ..."
Those changes for the veterans have included: junior Hannah Burney, previously a third baseman when not pitching, as a first-time shortstop when out of the circle; senior Lindsey Skipper at first base; and junior Addyson Chaney, moving from playing third and second base, respectively, her freshman and sophomore seasons -- to catcher.
"It's definitely a major change, but I knew I had to do it for the team for us to be successful," said Chaney, whose move there mirrored that made in 2022 by former teammate and graduate Kylee Graves.
"I gave it a try," she said. "It's not that bad."
With a somewhat repositioned team, in the field, the Lady Hornets, a State semifinalist in 2022 after a loss to eventual champion D'Hanis, again advanced as District 15-2A's top seed to the 1A playoffs. Dodd City finished 5-7 in 15-2A, going 3-3 in the second half with wins over Tom Bean and Honey Grove, two of the district's 2A postseason qualifiers.
"We play in a tough district with well-coached 2A teams," said Crossland. "That made us ready.
"I told the girls," he said, "we had to be hitting our stride in the playoffs."
Having a bi-district bye, the Lady Hornets defeated Avalon, 10-0, in six innings in the regional quarterfinals and swept their regional semifinal best-of-three series against Abbott, 10-3, 18-1.
Appropriately, only Blum -- in the Region II-1A final -- gave Dodd City a test, before falling, 6-3 -- and assuring the Lady Hornets of what has become a yearly ending to softball season at the school.
"It's really exciting," said Mauppin. "I'm so thankful for all of the teams."
Note: The Class 1A State semifinals will be Tuesday, May 30, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin. The 1A State championship game will also be there on Wednesday, May 31, at 4 p.m.