|Dusty Dowdle pitched a shutout against Mayer. VVN/Travis Guy|
|Hailey Teague. VVN/Travis Guy|
It was expected to be an easy two games for the Camp Verde softball team when it hosted Mayer for a double-header.
The expectations were spot on as the girls cruised to 16-0 and 17-0 wins against the Wildcats.
"We got two wins, so that's good. Hopefully that will help us," said head coach Debbi Miller.
Mayer is nearly last in Division-IV, not having won a single game this season, giving the Cowboys a chance to have some fun, rest a few starters and try some new things out.
"I let them pretty much play where they wanted to after a while, just to take off the pressure and games like this are so hard, they're just hard," Miller said.
With the level disparity between the two teams, Camp Verde could have easily ran the score up quickly and finished the game earlier than it did, but since they had been in the situation Mayer was in before, they let up a little so the visiting team would not get discouraged.
"I think that we know how it feels to get smashed on like that, so we just tried to be nice about it and keep it cool," said Hailey Teague.
In the second game, Hailey was one of the many players that played a different position than normal. Usually, fans can see her running down pop flies and catching them with ease, but against Mayer, she returned to a position she has not played for a few years.
"[I haven't played first base] since like, I was maybe, 10-years-old, yeah," Hailey said. "I think its fun every once and a while, being able to mess around is fun."
Freshman Dusty Dowdle has been out a majority of the season with an injury. She returned to the lineup a few weeks ago, but only in a backup position for Madison Garcia. While Madison pitched the first game, Dusty got to take the mound for the second.
"I really liked it," Dusty said. "I haven't been out there, so it was a little weird, but I felt strong and I hope to pitch more, soon."
Miller was complementary towards Mayer and the way the team played despite being in a difficult situation.
"I give a lot of credit to them," Miller said. "They played good, they did the best they could, they kept their spirits up and they never gave up, I was really happy for them."
Up next for the girls is Payson. Even though they are currently No. 22, they still view this game as a must win to make it to the playoffs.
"I told my girls we need to focus on the game we played here against them, because that's the game we only lost 1-0, and that was one of the best games we've played the whole season," Miller said. "Hopefully that's what they're going to focus on this weekend and then come Monday we'll practice hard and come Tuesday, hopefully we'll come away with a win."
The confidence is not just coming from the head coach. Both Dusty and Hailey agree that they can beat Payson and need to draw on their last game for inspiration.
"To win over Payson, we'll have to do to them exactly what we did our last game," Dusty said. "We only lost to them by one, that was a great game. We minimized the errors and played as a team. I think we could be unstoppable if we just played as a team [and] kept our heads up."
The softball team visits Payson on April 23, followed by their last home game of the season against Sedona Red Rock the next day.
"We just need to stay positive and keep together as a team and keep together as a team and we can do it if we believe in ourselves," Hailey said.