By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (20-5, 11-2) played a district double-header against the Bixby Lady Spartans (15-13, 10-4) Tuesday at home and split the games. After winning the first game 13-1, the Sandites couldn't bring in a run in the second game and lost 1-0. Fortunately, they only needed one win to stay alive in the race for a district title.
The Sandites jumped on the Spartans quick and early as Oklahoma State commit Sydney Pennington drew a walk in the top of the first, reached third on a sacrifice from Jessica Collins, and scored after tagging up on a fly out by Elizabeth Luttrell. Soon after, Cameron Clemons singled to score Collins and Makenna Skaggs for the 3-0 advantage. Felicity Horn scored on a failed fielder's choice, and Sabrina Usher reached on an error to score Clemons and Kimi Presnell to cap off the inning 6-0 after being put out at second.
Sophomore Jacie Taber doubled in the top of the second inning to score Pennington, then came home with Skaggs on a single from Horn. She batted in another pair of runs in the top of the third, scoring Pennington and Usher on a single for the 11-0 lead.
Usher hit a double to start off the fifth inning and scored on a home run from Pennington, her ninth this season.
The Spartans hit their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a double from Adrianna Forbus, to score Mia Gates. It would be their only run of the game, however, and the Sandites won it 13-1 after a five-inning run-rule.
Junior pitcher Madelyn Blair (8-2) picked up her sixth straight win on the mound with only one hit and two walks against four strikeouts and one run. She also hit two singles in the game.
The second leg of the double-header was an anomaly as the Sandites were shutout for only the third time this season, despite landing five base-hits and putting ten runners on base over the course of the game.
In the first inning, Horn reached on an error and was joined by Pennington, who walked. Both were left stranded.
The Spartans scored their first and only run of the game in the top of the second with a home run from Meredith Iden. Bixby loaded the bases from there as Forbus was hit by the pitch, Brooklyn Lemon hit a single, and Kyndal Pirtle walked to load the bases. Sophomore pitcher Jacie Taber was able to save the inning, however, striking out Teri Pogue swinging.
Presnell was stranded on a single in the bottom of the second. Sarah Tyree was stranded after a triple in the top of the third. Blair and Taber both singled in the bottom of the fourth, but Blair was caught in a double play and Taber was stranded. Horn reached on error once again in the bottom of the fifth, and Pennington walked in the sixth.
The Sandites threatened again in the bottom of the seventh. After Clemons grounded out and Jensen Arnold struck out looking, Usher drew a walk and Horn singled. Collins was next to the plate and also singled, but Usher was caught advancing on the play and the game was brought to an end.
Taber (8-3) pitched a career-best eleven strikeouts while giving up only four hits and two walks. She averages less than one run per game with five shutouts this season. This is her third double-digit strikeout game this season.
The Sandites' 11-2 district record is surpassed only by Yukon at 12-1. However, the Sandites and Millers will play the final district match for both teams Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the Sandite Softball Complex. Sand Springs has already defeated Yukon once this season, 9-1 at the Miller's home turf. If the girls can pull off the repeat, they will match the Millers' record and win the district on head-to-head results.