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Softball tries to keep one-loss record on road
Written by George Werner   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:54

A 6-1 March 11 loss to Payson High School has been the only bump so far in a road that Camp Verde High School hopes will carry its softball team at least as far this spring as it carried the Longhorns in last season’s Division III state tournament.

Sophomore pitcher Dusty Dowdle winds up and lets the ball fly during her start against Wickenburg High School, in which she struck out five and hurled a shutout over four innings Thursday, March 13, before fellow sophomore Taya Smith relieved her in a 2-1 win.
Undefeated Winslow High School, last year’s Division III runners-up by virtue of its victory over Payson in the state semifinals, awaits the Cowboys [5-1] on Wednesday, March 19, after their Section IV opener Tuesday, March 18, with cross-valley rival Sedona Red Rock High School.

“Right now, at this point in the season, we have our game plan,” CVHS head softball coach Henry Smith said, “and if they shut it down, we’ll go to small ball or try to put it to the ball, hit it hard and put it somewhere. It’ll help us out playing later on in the season, when we’re not so predictable.”

The Cowboys have not been an easy team to predict already, winning a pitcher’s duel Thursday, March 13, with Wickenburg, 2-1, after outscoring their previous opponents by 41 runs before the Payson loss. CVHS even used a 13-run first inning March 5 to make its first road trip of the season a short one, bombing Greyhills Academy in four innings, 23-0, in Tuba City.

“The first time through the lineup, everyone was hitting,” Smith said. “It’s kind of hard to come back from that: They had all the momentum taken away from them. Part of it was due to the fact that they were a younger team, but the rest of it was the girls’ desire to hit the ball.”

And CVHS still has yet to see an inning of action from junior pitching ace Madison Garcia. After missing the first six games of the season for what Smith would only describe as “personal reasons,” Garcia will be available for the Cowboys in time for the three games they will be playing at the Payson tournament on Friday, March 21.

“A lot of teams are changing lineups during this point of this season, a lot of players changing positions,” Smith said. “At this point, I find it difficult to do any accurate scouting.”

In Garcia’s absence, sophomores Dusty Dowdle and Taya Smith have alternated, and combined to win, five of their six starts, allowing just over one-and-a-half runs scored per game in the victories.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 19, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.


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