Dickson softball uses big 4th inning to take down Perkins-Tryon at 4A Regionals

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Dickson's Emily Nogueria finished with three hits and three RBIs on Wednesday during a 10-4 win over Perkins-Tryon at Class 4A Regionals.

There’s a reason why they throw out win-loss records in the postseason, as anyone can win on any given day. The Dickson High School softball team proved that Wednesday as the Lady Comets took down one of the top teams in District 4A-2 during a 10-4 win over Perkins-Tryon at Class 4A Regionals in Tuttle.

“It was a big atmosphere with a lot of people here cheering us on,” said Dickson head coach Britt Jones. “We kind of started off really slow, but we calmed down and we realized that we’ve seen five or six better pitchers than the Perkins girl throughout the year. That fourth inning was when we kind of settled in and exploded a little bit (at the plate).”

That’s saying a lot, too, as the Lady Comets were facing a difficult matchup against a squad that finished 26-5 overall and tied for first in district play at 13-1. However, Dickson showed why records don’t matter by using a big fourth inning to cruise to victory.

Cailey Fryar and Alyssa Warren put the Lady Comets in business with back-to-back singles before Taelynn Holbrook earned a walk to load the bases. Fryar would score on an error and then Emily Nogueria stepped up with a two-run double to give Dickson a 5-3 lead it never surrendered.

The Lady Comets weren’t done though, as Makenna Day, Shelby Beard and Fryar each notched base hits to extend the advantage to 9-3 in the top of the sixth. And that overall success has a lot to do with a certain team mentality.

“Throughout the year, we’ve kind of worked on playing with confidence and being ourselves,” Jones said. “The girls have come a long way. That’s one of the key things that we focus on, just confidence. When the girls feel like they’re prepared coming into the game, they play a lot more confidence.”

The top three hitters in the lineup proved that as Nogueria, Day and Beard combined for six hits and seven RBIs.

Nogueria led the way as she drove in three runs on three hits, while Day and Beard each finished with a pair of RBIs. Fryar rounded out the top performer with a 2-for-4 performance and two runs batted in.

Meanwhile in the circle, Beard allowed two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work. Riley Mays finished the game in relief and that duo might play an important role down the stretch.

“Perkins and Tuttle only have one pitcher, their pitchers have thrown every single game for them this year,” Jones said. “That’s definitely an advantage for us. We’re able to kind of take some load off Shelby’s plate. Riley Mays isn’t a true No. 2 pitcher. Her and Shelby are both our No. 1s and we kind of just go off matchups. (Pitching) is definitely our strong suit and our advantage coming into this regional tournament.”

Nevertheless, it doesn’t get any easier as Dickson must get past defending state champion Tuttle to earn a spot in this year’s tournament. The two squads meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday and there could be a rematch Thursday with the winner heading to Oklahoma City.

“If you’re going to win a state championship, you have to beat the best at some point,” Jones said. “Doesn’t really matter if you beat them in the regional tournament or the state tournament. We’re fired up. We like competition. Some of our girls play travel ball with some of the Tuttle girls and play against some of the Tuttle girls. We know at this point in the year, you play the best of the best. And I think we’re ready for it.”