Lady Bobcats’ deepest playoff run comes to a close

Posted Monday, May. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The season came to an end for the Byron Nelson softball team last weekend, following a second-place finish in district and trip to the regional quarterfinals.

Coach Kathy Shoettle said the loss to Birdville in the third round of the playoffs was not a matter of being overmatched, but rather that her team did not perform as well as it was capable of playing.

“Defensively, we did not perform as well as we have been in the previous two series or even throughout district,” Shoettle said. “I just felt like we had too many errors.”

Shoettle said that when she reflects on the season as a whole, she is satisfied with the team’s effort and the heart her players showed, but said it is kind of bittersweet for her with the way things finished up.

“I am proud of the way the kids competed all year,” Shoettle said. “A lot of people did not know that Ashley Dumoulin was injured all year. She didn't pitch the first game against Birdville. We had a freshman take the mound, because on Friday she could not even make an arm circle.

“She came to me the next day and said she wanted the ball. ... I'm really proud of the way that we competed and stay composed throughout the season, but it was disappointing the way it ended. Not to take anything away from Birdville, but I really think we could have been successful in that series.”

The regional quarterfinals is the farthest the Lady Bobcats have ever gone in the playoffs.

Shoettle said that her team owes a debt of gratitude to its four senior players, as well.

“They set a very high standard for others to follow,” Shoettle said. “They laid the foundation and set the tradition. All four of them really stepped into leadership this season, and I am really proud of the way they handled themselves through wins and losses. They are a very classy group, and the younger kids really looked up to them.

“I really believe that the way the seniors carried themselves is going to be passed down year to year to year at Byron Nelson.”

Dumoulin, Kenedi Jackson, Emily Wood and Dani West are the Lady Bobcats' seniors.

Shoettle said she hopes that her players take away a couple of things from this season.

“I hope they realize that when you put in time and hard work, you get positive results,” Shoettle said. “Seeing them grow into young ladies, we've become a family out there, and I hope they can maintain those relationships they have with their teammates and the coaching staff.

“I think that is one of the huge things about high school athletics is the friendships you make, and also that hard work will get good results, not just in sports, but also in life.”

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