Lindbergh softball team falls 2-0 to Jeff City Helias in battle for state title

By Stephen Glover

As hard as it seems to believe, the glass slipper just didn’t seem to fit Cinderella this time.

On Monday of last week, the Lindbergh High girls’ softball team found itself in the state championship game with an eight-game winning streak. In fact, Lindbergh had won 18 of its last 19 games after starting the season with a 1-6 record.

That all came to an end as the Flyers (21-11, 4-2 Suburban West) dropped a 2-0 decision to Jefferson City Helias as starting pitcher Lauren Delaney pitched a perfect game against Lindbergh. Delaney retired 14 batters via strikeout in the win.

Despite the loss to Helias, Lindbergh head coach Darin Scott is proud of what his team accomplished this season.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls this year,” Scott said. “I tried to tell the girls that it’s nothing to hang our heads low. We made a lot of accomplishments this season.”

Lindbergh starting pitcher Sarah Dooley once again was solid on the mound as she gave up just two runs on four hits. The junior hurler walked just two, while striking out five in the loss. She finished the season with a record of 18-6 and an earned run average of 0.63.

“It’s pretty obvious that Sarah was the missing piece to the puzzle for our program,” Scott said. “When you have a pitcher like Sarah, that gives your team a lot of confidence.”

The Flyers lose four seniors to graduation in second baseman Morgan Erhard, shortstop Nancy LaRose, catcher Ashli Meyer and right fielder Rachel Piazza.

Lindbergh does return Dooley, though, for the 2004 season and Scott says that one of his top priorities is finding a solid starting catcher to complement his starting pitcher.

“It’s hard to talk about next year,” Scott said “We’re losing the entire middle of our lineup and we’re going to have to find a starting catcher for next year.”