APEX — Senior Brittaney Dahle admitted she was nervous before her start in the third round of the state softball 4A playoffs against Apex on Friday night.
But after her Wake Forest-Rolesville teammates staked her to a 3-0 lead, Dahle calmed down and took over. She gave up five hits, walked two and hit a batter but struck out eight in her third shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory.
I was actually nervous, Dahle said. When my players got hits, I started calming down a little bit. After a couple of innings, we knew we were going to win. The first inning was very crucial.
Apex coach Bonnie Hodge said Dahle kept hitters off-balance, and Apex couldnt get into a rhythm in only its second loss this season. But with all but two players returning for next year, Apex (20-2) appears to have a solid foundation for the future.
We made a name, we made a name for ourselves this year, Hodge said. Definitely, anybody who has played us is not going to forget Apex softball. And were coming back strong. Were losing two players, but were coming back strong next year as well.
Wake Forest-Rolesville (17-3) still has work left this season, facing Middle Creek in the next round. Wake Forest-Rolesville advanced to the fourth round for the first time since 2006.
Weve been riding Brittaney hard now for four years, Wake Forest-Rolesville coach Doug Kinsman said. We were depending on her tonight to have a good game and do exactly what she did. I didnt expect her to put seven goose eggs across the board because Apex is too good of a slapping team. They put too much pressure on you defensively. I thought theyd be able to score a couple of runs.
Apex had its chances, but Wake Forest-Rolesvilles defense was stellar. In the fourth, Right fielder Leah Siver cut down Apexs Lindsay Hodge at first after Hodge had apparently singled to right. Siver later made a sliding catch of a drive off the bat of MacKenzie Brown in the sixth.
But the defensive play of the game was in the bottom of the fifth. Alexis Overdiep singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Bailey Hathaway singled to left, but Cassidy Dahle gunned Overdiep down at the plate to end the threat.
Theyve got one run on the board and a runner on second and a little bit of momentum going, Kinsman said. That sort of put the fire out right there, and Brittaney closed the deal.
Dahle completed the shutout by catching a line drive off the bat of Nikki Pisacane to end the game. She slammed the ball to the ground and was mobbed by her teammates.
My eight players, I trust them 110 percent, Dahle said of the defensive effort behind her. They were amazing tonight. I m so proud of all of them.
Its incredible, because we havent been (to the fourth round) since 2006. All my seniors, we havent been past third round in a while, so its an incredible feeling.