The Templeton High School softball team took down top-seeded Dinuba, 3-2, to capture the CIF Central Section championship in Division 3 on Saturday afternoon at Margie Wright Diamond on the campus of Fresno State.
The Eagles put the pressure on the Emperors right away as they pushed two runs across in the top of the second inning.
Ashley Daugherty drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Templeton’s first run, then a wild pitch allowed Alex Dahlen to score the team’s second run.
Templeton added some much-needed insurance in the fourth inning. Izzy Cowne singled to left field to score Megan Ingle, making it 3-0 in favor of the Eagles.
Daugherty, the Texas A&M commit, was finally touched up by Dinuba in the bottom of the fourth. Juliana Flores ripped a 2-run double to left which cut Templeton’s lead to 3-2.
The Eagles would escape a pair of jams in the sixth and seventh innings to secure the victory. Daugherty fittingly recorded the final out via strikeout.
“That last strikeout, we had to have it,” head coach Keith Swank said. “With runners at second and third, we had to have a strikeout. We couldn’t afford to put the ball in play, so we got exactly what we needed. I told her [Ashley] in the 6th inning, I told her you’re the best player out here, so you just have to bring it home.”
“It’s…so many things, so many things are going through my mind,” Daugherty added. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team and how hard we fought all season, how much drive we’ve had, and just the heart of this team is something like you’ll never find anywhere else.”
It’s the Eagles’ first CIF title since they won four-straight championships from 2003-2006.
Templeton wraps up its fantastic season with a 17-5 overall record.