WACO — The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs softball team finished fourth in District 8-5A play and were looking for respect in the 2014 playoffs.
Of course, they wanted to win and advance, too. But earning respect was mandatory.
“They certainly earned our respect,” said Donya Mooney, head coach of Mansfield Timberview. “Cove played with a lot of intensity and passion in Game 2.”
The Lady Wolves defeated Cove 13-2 on April 25 in Game 1 of a best-of-three series.
Then Cove rebounded and played much better in Game 2. The Lady Dawgs led the District 7-5A champions 4-2 after the fourth frame and 6-3 after 5 ½ innings. Ultimately, Timberview prevailed 7-6 in an eight-inning thriller.
The Cove players already had the respect of their first-year head coach Bryan Waller. But he was quite impressed, too, with his team’s two-game playoff performance.
“We had a lead in both of these playoff games,” Waller said after Game 2. “Point blank, we don’t get a lot of respect. That was our goal coming into this: It was to earn respect. Hopefully, we got a little more respect from other people based on how we played tonight against Timberview. We can play. These girls have heart. They laid it all on the line. They made it tough for Timberview. I couldn’t have been any happier than the way we played tonight.”
In Game 2, Cove’s Carlee Duran went 3 for 4, including a triple. Also for Cove, Elliana Doubleday and Tayler Hammack each had 2-RBI singles, Destiny Henderson had an RBI single and Autumn Hughes and Veronica Marshall each had a base hit.
The biggest blast for Cove was a monster shot over the right-centerfield wall by Irene Espinoza. The solo homer by Espinoza in the top of the fourth gave Cove a 4-1 lead.
“All I was trying to do was make contact,” Espinoza said. “But once I was rounding first and heard everyone screaming, I knew it was out.”
Espinoza was one of five seniors who finished their careers on Saturday.
“We’d have liked to win, sure,” she said. “But if we couldn’t win, at least we went out with a big, big fight. We showed a lot of heart and gave it our best shot. So we have no regrets at all.”