The Charles Page High School Softball team (17-6 overall, 8-2 district) has hit a bit of a rough patch this past week, dropping four of their last five games, but it doesn't come without a silver lining. All four losses came at the hands of top-tier State-contending teams, and only two held playoff implications.
After going 0-2 against Broken Arrow (31-3, 10-0) the Lady Sandites were unable to secure a district title, but their second-place finish earned them a home Regional. Regional Tournament pairings will be released September 27th. The tournaments are double-elimination with the eight winning teams advancing to the State Tournament at Oklahoma City in October. The Lady Sandites have advanced to the State Championship for the past two seasons, falling in the quarterfinals last year and falling 4-3 to Choctaw in the 2015 finals.
On Wednesday's District-finale against Broken Arrow, the Sandites hit just as well as their foes and left fewer runners on base, but were unable to overcome four errors and six walks.
Freshman pitcher Aliyah Taff (0-2) pitched the first full game of her career, giving up ten hits, five earned-runs, and six walks, with one strikeout. The Sandites recorded four runs in the first two innings for an early lead, but were unable to find home plate again, ultimately falling 9-4.
Broken Arrow was first on the scoreboard thanks to an error at first base. Grace Jarvis reached on a fielder's choice, stole second base, then scored on a ground ball from Raegan Edwards. Sand Springs wasted no time in tying things up as Kimi Presnell singled in the same inning and scored on a hit from Madelyn Blair.
Elizabeth Luttrell made up for her first inning's error by catching passes from Presenll and Taff for a quick second-inning no-hitter, and the Sandites came in for their biggest offensive output of the game. Junior Cameron Clemons opened things up with a double into left field, followed by a single from Jensen Arnold. Clemons and courtesy runner Rachel Jones both scored on a double from University of Northern Iowa-commit Jacie Taber, who in turn scored on a sacrifice fly from Presnell.
The Tigers' next run also came on an error after McKenzie Carney walked and came in on a mistake at third base. The Sandites stranded two of their own runners in the bottom of the third, then stranded loaded bases from the Tigers after Taff walked three in the top of the fourth. The Tigers scored yet another run-by-error in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with a pair of walks and a single from Chloe Jameson. Maci Cole sent a ground ball past Taff, opening the door for Jameson to make it a 4-3 deficit.
Broken Arrow finally took the lead in the top of the sixth after Jarvis singled and came in on a home run from Edwards. The visitors' break-out inning came in the seventh with four runs thanks to four singles, a passed ball, and an error by Sabrina Usher. Usher and Blair both hit infield flies in the bottom of the inning and Luttrell sent a ground ball to second base to finish the game.
On Thursday the Sandites traveled to Edmond for a tournament on the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian University campuses. They lost both games, but both were close losses to quality programs.
Their first game was a rehash of the 2015 State Title game as they fell 4-3 to the District 1 Champions from Choctaw (21-8). In the next round they fell 6-2 to Westmoore (20-11).
Taber (12-2 season, 25-9 career) got the loss on the mound against Choctaw with eight hits, one earned run, one walk, and one strikeout. Taff got the loss against Westmoore with eight hits, three earned runs, one strikeout, and one walk.
The Sandites scored all three of their runs against Choctaw in the bottom of the first. Presnell singled then scored on a single from Usher. Luttrell drew a walk and both scored on a triple from Felicity Horn.
Choctaw scored with a triple in the second, then tied it up in the fourth with two hits, an error, and a walk. The Yellowjackets took the lead in the top of the fifth, putting two on base with an error and a single. Emma Jackson advanced to third on a wild pitch, then came in on a sacrifice fly from Jaidyn Stevens.
Usher and Blair both reached in the fifth and were left stranded, then Horn and Clemons were stranded in the bottom of the sixth to end the game.
Sand Springs managed only four hits to the Jaguars' eight, and committed two errors while only benefiting from one.
The Sandites struck first with a double from Clemons to score Taber, but Westmoore hit back right away with a two singles, an error, a walk, and two passed balls in the bottom of the second for a 3-1 lead.
Presnell was hit by pitch in the top of the third, made second on a single from Makenna Skaggs, then scored on a wild pitch for the last Sandite run of the game.
Westmoore hit three singles and a triple in the bottom of the fourth and the rest of the game went scoreless.
Sand Springs will play Newcastle (24-6) and Union (22-11) at the tournament on Friday, then will host Skiatook (13-16) and Bartlesville (16-16) next week before Regionals.