ANACONDA – Dillon High’s inaugural softball season officially ended in the form of a 12-1 loss to Anaconda in the elimination bracket of the Southwestern A Divisionals, Saturday morning at Charlotte Yeoman-Martin Sports Complex.
It also ended with tears and hugs all around among the Beaver players.
Defensive miscues were part of the reason the Beavers saw their season end earlier than they had hoped. So was a strong offensive attack by Anaconda
“They’re a good hitting team,” Dillon coach Andrea Schurg said of the Copperheads.
The disappointing loss didn’t take away from the success the Beavers enjoyed this season. Prior to first game of the season, a loss to Stevensville, varsity softball didn’t exist at Dillon.
The Beavers spent the better part of their 18-game season, learning, growing, bonding and succeeding.
“It was a great season,” Schurg said. “I told the girls to keep their heads high. They came a long way. I asked the seniors to come back and support the team. We’re losing our whole outfield to graduation.”
Very few people knew what to expect from the first-year program. There were peaks. There were valleys. There were success and setbacks. There was no denying the fact that the Beavers said goodbye to their season as a better team than when they started.
“I wanted to be able to compete,” Schurg said. “I thought, and still think, that we had the talent. If we compare our team, position by position, with other teams, I think we were comparable.”
Despite the strides Beavers made to put themselves on the map this season, there is still plenty of room in which they can grow.
Schurg is already looking at what needs to be done when the Beavers regroup next spring for their sophomore season.
“Pitching is the one area where I think we were behind,” she said. “Bailey (Berriochoa), the second pitcher we used (in Saturday’s finale), started pitching three weeks into the season. I would like for the girls to pitch through the summer. We were playing against girls who had been pitching since they were 8.”
Dillon ended its historic first season with a 6-12 record. Schurg was quick to add that a handful of those games were by one run.
Chalk that up as something else to improve upon next season.
“I still have high expectations for the girls,” Schurg said. “They earned a lot of respect from the fans, other teams and coaches. They can hold their heads high. It was fun. It’s always fun.”