Senior Natalie McFadin slides in safely at second on her way to the first D’Hanis run in the second inning of Wednesday’s state championship game. 


Junior Marissa Santos fires a strike in the championship game against Dodd City. The Cowgirls finished 18-8-1, and as state 1A runner-up.

Cowgirls finish as state runners-up


By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher


     Austin -- Another highly successful season for the D’Hanis Cowgirls softball team came up a win short of the preferred goal.

     The Cowgirls fell to Dodd City, 8-4, last Wednesday afternoon, in the UIL 1A State Championship at Red & Charline McCombs Field on the UT-Austin campus.

     The Cowgirls concluded their season as state silver medalists, with an 18-8-1 season mark, while Dodd City (16-3) added a softball crown to go into the trophy case alongside their 2021 state championship in girls’ basketball.

     D’Hanis had advanced to Wednesday’s championship game with a Tuesday semifinal win over Borden County, 4-1. DC had reached the championship game with a 4-3, eighth-inning, walkoff win over Bloomburg.

     Dodd City got a first inning two-run homer to center field from Tori Dotson, who would go on to claim the championship game MVP award, to take a 2-0 lead.

     D’Hanis cut the Lady Hornets’ lead in half in the top of the second. Natalie McFadin drew a one-out walk and stole second. Toni Burell hit a bouncer to the left side, which the DC third baseman misplayed, allowing McFadin to score. 

     Dodd City added a run in the third, with a leadoff triple from starting pitcher Lindsay Mauppin. Dotson followed with a sacrifice fly to right.

The game’s big difference came in the fourth, when DC scored five times. A one-out single, followed by a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt, put two runners aboard. Two singles brought in two runs. Then with two away, Dotson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Raigan Nichols and Journie Hilliard then connected for back-to-back singles, making the score 8-1.

     D’Hanis finally got the offense going in the sixth. With two outs and two runners on base, Toni Burell and Koehler Ruiz both singled home a run.

     In the seventh, Mabry Herr-mann singled and came home on a Marissa Santos double to left, producing the Cowgirls’ final run.

For D’Hanis, Santos, Kayla Looper, and Peyton Burell were all named to the all-tournament team.

     This was the fourth trip to state for D’Hanis softball, including the team’s third consecutive appearance, with a state title in 2019.