Western Dubuque’s Sara Horsfield may have saved her best defensive performance for her final high school softball game.
The senior outfielder and this week’s Telegraph Herald Athlete of the Week made a running basket catch before throwing out a runner at the plate in the sixth inning to help the Bobcats defeat Boone, 3-1, on Friday in the Class 4A state championship game in Fort Dodge — the first state title in program history. That throw marked the first time in Horsfield’s career that she has gotten a runner out at home.
“I knew I had to catch the ball otherwise the two runners would score,” Horsfield said. “I kind of had momentum going forward when I made the throw, and Maddie (Harris) made the great play to get the runner out. It was definitely the highlight of my entire softball career.”
Offensively, Horsfield played a crucial role in the Bobcats’ 35-7 season. As the lead-off batter, Horsfield used her slapping ability and speed to get on base early and often.
“If she can get on base, she will find a way to score,” WD first-year head coach Rex Massey said. “Sara has been instrumental in our success this season.”
Added Horsfield: “Slapping was just working well for me this season, so I did it a lot more than I have in past years. If I can get on base, then the rest of the team gets pumped up and believes they can get on, too.”
Horsfield finished her high school career leading the state in runs scored (77), hits (82) and singles (74) this season.
“Sara is the most competitive girl on our team, and that competitive drive really gave her an edge,” Massey said. “She’s a quiet girl who never brags, but she wants to win more than anyone.”
As a three-year varsity player, Horsfield said the offseason work she put in working on her batting approach has helped her tremendously.
“Sara was at every hitting lesson and every open gym,” Massey said. “She works hard at everything she does.”
Horsfield also competed for the Bobcats’ bowling and tennis teams.
“Our team also made it to state in bowling and we finished third, so it was great to end my senior year with a state title,” she said. “I really couldn’t think of a better way to go out. It was a little bittersweet for me to know that my high school athletic career was over, but bringing home that gold trophy helps.”