Dracut High Softball Team Falls In State Title Game (Photos)
Jun 20, 2017 05:50PM ● Published by Bill Gilman
Members of the Dracut High softball team receive their medals for reaching the state final.
Gallery: Division 2 Softball State Championship Game [7 Images] Click any image to expand.
There can be that heartbreaking feeling of knowing you played as well as you could possibly play and still fell just a little bit short.
For the Dracut High softball team, its loss in Saturday's Division 2 State Final was the other kind.
A bad case of nerves led to costly mistakes and the result was a 10-1 loss to Grafton High, at Worcester State University.
The Middies (21-4) looked nothing like the team that had made such a thrilling post-season run, en route to a D2 North title and a thrilling 13-inning win in the State Semifinal to advance to Saturday's game with Central Mass. power Grafton (19-5).
Five errors and almost as many mental mistakes were too much for the Middies to overcome.
"It just wasn't our game. We just came out so nervous," said Dracut Coach George Roy, the 21-year veteran who led the Middies to their first State Final since the team won back-to-back state titles in 1997-98. "You've got to hand it to (Grafton), they came out and played the 'little' game and we couldn't make any plays."
An expected pitcher's duel between Middies' sophomore Ryley White and Indians' junior Savannah Small never developed. Grafton jumped out to a big lead in the top of the first inning, thanks in large part to three bunts that were misplayed by the Dracut defense.
Rebecca Haggerty's RBI single plated Erin Cardoza to give the Indians a 4-0 lead as many fans were still trying to find their seats.
"That wasn't us. We're usually better than that," said Roy.
Dracut was able to get a run back in the home half of the inning. Sophomore catcher Sabrina Morse reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and later scored on a throwing error.
But Grafton regained the four-run lead with a run in the second. Anna Bertrand singled, stole second and later scored on a wild pitch.
It remained 5-1 until the seventh, when Grafton blew things open with five runs, four of which were unearned.
White was tagged for eight hits but she also struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
Freshman Nadia Saari doubled and walked to lead the Dracut offense. Senior Nicole Turgeon and junior Kayla Tyler added singles.