About the time that Scottsdale Chaparral’s softball team was getting ready for pre-season practice, ace senior pitcher Dallas McBride was struggling with a hamstring injury.
It has continued to nag her somewhat through the early season, but the left-hander has remained effective in the circle.
She took another step forward on Wednesday (March 19), tossing a three-hitter and striking out eight as the Firebirds won their first game of the day in the Desert Mountain Invitational, 5-0 over Glendale Cactus at Horizon Park in north Scottsdale. Chaparral played a second game on Wednesday night against Chandler Seton Catholic.
Chaparral coach Stefanie Ewing, a former catcher at (Scottsdale) Desert Mountain and Oregon State, knows how to work with pitchers and is bringing McBride along at a more deliberate pace.
“Dallas throws strikes and is tough to hit, but we’ve got to have her healthy to have a chance to really do something,’’ Ewing said.
McBride likes to keep hitters honest and that means throwing inside at times to get her share of the plate.
“The talent in Arizona is so good that a pitcher has to be able to throw on both sides of the plate,’’ Ewing said.
In regard to offense, Ewing’s team doesn’t appear to have many players who hit with much power. But there are other ways to get the job done.
“We try to play for one run per inning,’’ Ewing said. “We have to make sure we get good at-bats, particularly with runners in scoring position.’’
Chaparral scored its first run in the first inning, without benefit of a hit. Cactus committed a pair of errors.
Two more runs came home on three hits in the second. Alexa Throell and Keligh Ortiz had run-scoring hits.
The lead increased to 5-0 in the fourth on another RBI hit by Throell and one by Alana Anderson.