Perfect finish: Alvord softball team captures state ASA title

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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THE CHAMPS – The Alvord Lady Bulldogs finished 22-0 and won the Class C 14 and under ASA state title. The team included (front row) Kelsi McKelvain, Ashton Peterson, Reagan Guthrie, Emily Burdine, Lindsey Abbott, Madison Espinoza, Scout Tatum (back row) assistant coach CJ Peterson, Haley Roberds, Lauren Bierschenk, Lulu Murillo, Claudia Godoy, Blaire Boyter, Cheyanne Dollins, Mikena Mader and head coach Larry Mader. Submitted photo

The Alvord Lady Bulldogs finished off a perfect season Sunday capturing the 14-and-under ASA recreational state title.

The Lady Bulldogs ripped the Avery Intensity 9-1 in the championship game in McKinney to cap a 22-0 season.

“It’s the highest honor you can get in Class C, and we won it,” said the Lady Bulldogs’ coach, Larry Mader. “Not bad for a bunch of country girls.”

Alvord went 7-0 in the state tournament, outscoring its opponents 41-10.

“We left the stress with all the parents, and we got out there and played as a team,” said pitcher Mikena Mader, who earned wins in every game.

Coach Mader said it took a total team effort to bring home the crown.

“We have a great overall team atmosphere,” he said. “We all worked together to win it.”

Despite a perfect run through the Wise County league and the district tournament, the Lady Bulldogs pictured themselves as the underdogs at the state tournament.

“They had a bunch of big girls,” said first baseman Cheyanne Dollins. “I’m the tallest player on our team, and they made me look small.”

Catcher Reagan Guthrie added: “We were scrawny compared to them. They took us lightly and underestimated us.”

Alvord rolled to wins of 8-1 and 6-2 over the Henderson Explosion and Quinlan Gators in the first two games. The Lady Bulldogs squeezed by Huton Communications 2-1 before picking up a 7-1 victory over Avery Intensity and 6-2 over the Sweetwater Lady Mustangs.

One win from the title game, the Lady Bulldogs needed some late-inning heroics to beat the Brownwood Thunder 3-2. With the game tied at 2 with two out and the bases loaded in the final inning, Mikena Mader hit a ground ball to shortstop. The ball was bobbled and allowed Madison Espinoza, who had driven back from a camp in Colorado to play in the tournament, to score the game-winning run.

The Lady Bulldogs finished off the tournament with an eight-run win in the title game.

Dollins said it was great to win the championship with a great group of friends.

“We’ve all played together for years and are best friends,” she said.

Mikena Mader added that most of the players skipped the Oklahoma University team basketball camp to play in the state tournament.

“Coach [Rob] Schmucker told us if we were going to miss the OU camp that we have to win [the tournament],” she said. “That helped us.”

The entire team was made up of Alvord girls with the exception of three players picked up after the district tournament from Valley View, Gainesville and Lindsay.

SWINGING TO WIN – Alvord’s Reagan Guthrie connects with a pitch during a Lady Bulldogs’ win at the state ASA tournament.

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