Dunbar’s Late Efforts Set Up Crawford’s 3rd State Softball Crown

A battle was expected when Crawford (36-3) met Thorndale (33-6) in Thursday’s UIL 2A state championship softball game. That’s exactly what occurred in the Lady Pirates’ come-from-behind 8-7 win in extra innings.

Crawford trailed 1-0 and 7-3 in the game, but late efforts by VYPE Player of the Game Makey Dunbar helped the program win its third state championship. She relieved starting pitcher Cambree Aguirre, who allowed four earned runs in four and a third innings, and struck out four Thorndale batters in three and two-thirds innings. She also recorded a pair of hits, including driving in Grace Powell with a RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.

“There’s no way to describe it,” said Dunbar. “You have to be in it to understand it. You just won that for your whole school, and for your team, and for your family, friends, everyone. It feels amazing.”

Crawford fell behind because Kelsey Kovar had a big game for Thorndale. Her first of three RBIs drove in Emilee Baker for the Lady Dogs’ first lead.

Crawford then answered with a three-run fourth. Avery Ward’s RBI single drove in Kyla Mach for the game-tying run, and later scored on Kylie Ray’s groundout. Dunbar also scored the middle run on Aguirre’s groundout to third.

Thorndale followed that with a six-run fifth, which gave them a four-run advantage. Lauren Newton scored on Riley White’s groundout, Jayci Martinka and Baker scored on Kovar’s second RBI single, Kovar then scored on a fielding error, and Hannah Laurence and Kate Casey scored runs after Madison Kelm’s single up the middle.

Crawford then tied the game with a quartet of runs in the sixth. Ray’s sac fly scored Ward, Addi Weaver’s RBI single scored Aguirre, and Mach’s RBI single scored Weaver and Powell. That set up Dunbar’s birthday heroics in the eighth.

“It’s pretty great,” said Dunbar. “It’s the best birthday gift I can ever get.”

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